Ten best practices to help you design better, more usable interactive tools.

But why?

Our Web Dogma was conceived by FatDUX CEO Eric Reiss back in 2003. It was inspired by Danish cult filmmakers Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier, who had produced “Dogma ‘95” as a reaction to big-budget Hollywood films. Our idea was to create a set of guidelines for digital products — their design, content and ease of use — that would transcend ever-changing fashions and technological developments.

This version was first published as a typewritten page, on the bulletin board at the 7th “Information Architecture Summit” in Vancouver, Canada, May 2006. Since then, the Web Dogma has received an enthusiastic reception from designers worldwide and remains as relevant today as it was when first written.

  1. Anything that exists only to satisfy the internal politics of the site owner must be eliminated.
  2. Anything that exists only to satisfy the ego of the designer must be eliminated.
  3. Anything that is irrelevant to the context of the page must be eliminated.
  4. Any feature or technique that reduces the visitor’s ability to navigate freely must be reworked or eliminated.
  5. Any interactive object that forces the visitor to guess its meaning must be reworked or eliminated.
  6. No software, apart from the browser itself, must be required to get the site to work correctly.
  7. Content must be readable first, printable second, downloadable third.
  8. Usability must never be sacrificed for the sake of a style guide.
  9. No visitor must be forced to register or surrender personal data unless the site owner is unable to provide a service or complete a transaction without it.
  10. Breaking any of these rules will be considered outright barbarous.** Shamelessly stolen from George Orwell’s famous Rules for Writers