Toggle navigation

Basic Design Principles for Non-Designers

Hello from the Balsamiq Education Team,

This past July our team was asked to present at the Product-Led Summit. Our talk was created for non-designers to understand key principles for effective UI Design. We focused on Visual Hierarchy, Alignment, Designing for Action (button design), and Form design. We enjoyed presenting the material so much that we decided to dig a little deeper and write a few articles to explore and expand each concept.


Visual Hierarchy and Alignment

Our first article, Visual Hierarchy and Alignment covers two of the most important parts of any visual design project. Understanding how and where your users will focus their attention will allow you to design more effective and easy-to-use products.

We explore how our brains help us see and comprehend the world around us, by scanning, and how that affects our behavior when interacting with digital interfaces.

Designing for Action

Our second article, Designing for Action: Best Practices for Effective Buttons, introduces readers to basic rules for the design and placement of buttons.

Learn more about what users expect and how established UI design patterns work to create effective user-centered products.

Four Simple Rules for Effective Forms

If your site needs to collect information from visitors you’ll likely need to use a form. In our third article, Four Simple Rules for Effective Forms, we cover what you need to know to get started with form design.

They are the most important part of your site or app's experience. And, sadly, they are almost always designed for you, the site owner, rather than for your users.

These articles cover some basic, but important principles for creating effective user interfaces. If you follow the advice we offer, you'll be well on your way to designing like a pro.

But don't stop there, there's a lot more to learn. Check out our Knowledge Base articles for even more topics, such as content-first design or tips for designing wireframes for mobile.

If you have suggestions for more topics you'd like to read about, write a comment below or email

Billy for the Balsamiq Team

Leave a Comment