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Early Design Principles at Medium

When medium was small the team wrote down some initial principles. They created a framework that listed two positive thought-provoking words in opposition.

  1. Direction over Choice

    This principle was often referred to while we were designing the Medium editor. We purposely traded layout, type, and color choices for guidance and direction. Direction was more appropriate for the product because we wanted people to focus on writing, and not get distracted by choice.

  2. Appropriate over Consistent

    This might seem controversial, but when applied across devices, its purpose is clear. We were willing to break consistency if it was more appropriate for the OS, device, or context.

  3. Evolving over Finalized

    This is exemplified in the ability to share Medium drafts, write responses, and leave notes. The content on Medium should be antifragile, improving with use and evolving overtime. We did not want to design printed books for the internet.