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Design Principles

These principles are to help the design team at SamKnows create a unified design language across all our disciplines. But, they are also to help us understand what’s worth fighting for, and can be used to help defend our design decisions.

Our design language

The world speaks in many languages. Even at SamKnows, while we mostly operate in English, many of us are bilingual, some are even polyglots. Being an international company that works with governments and ISPs around the world, this is always considered a valuable asset! But aside from writing or reading… there’s another universal language that we communicate in constantly: Design

Within the world– or more accurately, the multiverse that is design, there are millions of dialects. Across our disciplines, from user research to product development and even marketing, we need to make sure that we’re not only speaking the same language, but are truly understanding each other. That way, if our design is fluent, it will show in our products and make our data easier to understand.

To support a unified SamKnows design language, we’ve created a tailored set of design principles. These principles help remind us of our mission, to keep us aligned and stay consistent, not only in just the design team, but across all teams!

Design on a foundation of data

Before you design anything, don't imagine the problem, base your design solution on real life examples and use cases. Solve real problems that bring real value to our customers.

Make the data pop

Our users are here for one reason only – to see internet performance data. Make the UI almost invisible so that it lets the data shine. Contextualise data: helping our users understand the data is our primary objective.

Cut out the Baloo

We like the simple bare necessities. Our design style is clean with no needless parts. As we iterate, find a way to reduce complexity, consider every button, keyline, icon, and line of copy carefully: how does it help our users to understand the data better?

Jazz it up, tone it down

Less is more, but uniformity is boring. Make the most important elements of a design look like the most important elements and vice versa. Use our primary brand colours for emphasis. Look at your design with squinted eyes, low important elements should be blurry and barely visible. Important elements should still be visible and stand out.

Reach out, everyone is a designer

Collaborating with teammates across disciplines helps us understand the problems we’re trying to solve better and not lose sight of a bigger picture. Shared ownership of the design solution motivates and bonds teams together.

Take what you need, don’t leave a mess 

Use our library whenever possible to maintain consistency and harmony across all our products and comms. When you create any new elements, make sure you inform the rest of the design team and update the component library.

Join SamKnows

We’re currently looking for creative and driven people to join our team, so if you’re interested in working with us or learning more about design at SamKnows, please check out our open roles!

Open roles