5 Key Software Design Principles to Use in 2024

Key Takeaways:

  • When you use software design principles like SOLID, KISS, DRY, YAGNI, and SoC, you can create software that’s easy to maintain, scalable, and works well.
  • By following these principles, you can make your code neat and organized. This makes it simpler to fix, test, and update your software in the future.
  • Picking the best design principle for your work is really important if you want to create strong, flexible, and easy-to-manage software. Think about what your project needs most when deciding which principles to use.

If you have this question – is it possible to create software that is easy to maintain, scalable, and has high code quality and reliability?

The answer is yes. You might be wondering, how is it possible?

That’s where software design principles play an important role.

Being a leading software development agency, we know the importance of design principles, how they help to create business applications, and what values they provide during development. Even, we follow the design principles to create software that provides value and meets the goals of end-users.

Well, if you are curious to learn about software design principles, this blog post provides you with all the information you must know.

So, let’s dive into the blog.

5 Most Popular Software Design Principles

In the next section, you will learn in detail about each software design principle. Let’s first start with the SOLID principles.

  1. SOLID Design Principles

    SOLID is a combination of five design principles that focuses on object-oriented programming and software design. This principle helps you to code maintainable, scalable, and flexible software solutions. Each principle of SOLID focuses on a particular aspect of software design and encourages best practices to write code that is easy to maintain, well-organized, and efficient.

    Let’s learn in detail about each principle of SOLID.

    Single Responsibility Principle (SRP):

    This principle describes that each class should have only one responsibility. That means a class should have only one job to function. Adhering to this principle offers multiple benefits: easy maintainability, quick debugging and testing, increased code readability, and improved collaboration when you are developing a software solution.

    Open/Closed Principle (OCP):

    Technically, OCP refers to software entities (functions, classes, and modules) that should be open for extension but closed for modification. In simple terms, the OCP principle states that when it comes to adding new functionality, it should be possible without changing the existing code or functionality. So, you can create software applications that are flexible to scale as well as less prone to bugs.

    Liskov Substitution Principle (LSP):

    The LSP principle says that a subclass can replace its parent class in a software program without causing any issues in the program’s behaviour. Using this LSP principle, you gain benefits like code reusability, enhanced maintainability, increased flexibility, and easy testing. The LSP principle was introduced by an American computer scientist named Barbara Liskov.

    Example of LSP in real-life:

    The Liskov Substitution Principle is like replacing a player in a soccer team: a substitute player should be able to take the original player’s position without disrupting the team’s performance or strategy.

    Interface Segregation Principle (ISP):

    The interface segregation principle states having smaller, multiple, and focused interfaces is better compared to a single and large interface. This principle says you create a tailored interface for a specific requirement.

    By implementing this principle, you get the benefit of avoiding unnecessary functions or functionality in a particular interface. ISP enables you to create a modular that is maintainable and flexible with a clear separation of concerns.

    Looking to Develop Software for Your Business?

    Let’s get in touch. We have a team of software developers who have experience in developing software for different industries.

    Cta Image

    The Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP):

    The Dependency Inversion Principle states that high-level modules of a software application should not directly rely on low-level modules. Both parts should depend on shared abstractions. In addition, abstractions should not depend on details and details should not depend on abstractions.

    In simple terms, Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP) is a way to design a software solution that is easier to change or modify parts of the software without altering the entire codebase of your system.

    Let’s take an example. Imagine, you want to apply DIP to your eCommerce website. For that, you can create an interface for payment processing and implement it with different payment providers like PayPal or Stripe.

    Here is an example of a software application which has implemented the SOLID principle.


    Netflix is an example of the SOLID principle. The software development team of the Netflix app has implemented the SOLID principle. By designing a modular that makes it easy to add and remove features without affecting the overall system. So, this design allows for maintaining high availability and scalability parallelly improving user experience.

  2. Keep It Simple, Stupid Principle (KISS)

    KISS principle stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid. This principle states that instead of creating complex software, you should create a simple solution. The KISS principle encourages to design of software that is easy to maintain, modify, and understand. Keeping the software systems easy reduces the risks of errors, improves performance, and saves time, and resources.

    What is the unique characteristic of the KISS principle?

    The characteristic of the KISS principle is to emphasize simplicity as a key design objective. This principle promotes the designing of software systems that is straightforward and focused on including essential functionality.

    The KISS principle was originated by Kelly Johnson who is an American aircraft engineer and designer. He has developed many famous aircraft designs such as the Lockheed U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird. While designing an advanced aircraft, he faced the challenge of designing advanced aircraft that are reliable, fast, and easy to maintain.

    While analyzing previously made aircraft, he noticed that these aircraft were difficult to maintain and prone to errors. Therefore, he creates software solutions that emphasize simplicity and avoids unnecessary complexity.

    In addition to that, a research paper by L. Di Marco, A. Leone, G. Murana, and D. Pacini highlights the origins of the KISS principle and underscores its importance as a design rule. Moreover, information on KISS principle application in various fields, mainly suggests simplicity of design to improve performance, maintainability, and understandability.


    Dropbox has applied the KISS principle during its software development process. Dropbox was previously launched as a file storage and sharing platform. Further, as the requirements increased, Dropbox implemented a simple approach by creating a desktop client that functions as a local folder on the user’s computer. So, it becomes easy for users to drag and drop files into Dropbox from any application.

  3. DRY Principle

    DRY stands for Don’t Repeat Yourself. This principle in software development encourages eliminating duplication of code or logic in multiple places within a single codebase.

    The DRY principle advises that you need to write reusable code that can be shared and reduced throughout the software system where required. So, there are no chances of potential errors and you can increase the efficiency of your software development.

    As a developer, you make the code of your software application more modular, maintainable, and extensible. In addition, the changes made to the code can be done in a single place to avoid reducing the likelihood of inconsistencies or errors made in multiple locations. With this approach, you are able to reduce your development time and improve the code quality of your software application.

    What is the unique characteristic of the DRY principle?

    The unique characteristic of the DRY principle is to focus on reducing code duplication and encouraging the reuse of code components throughout the software solution.

    However, the DRY principle is not just above copy code and pasting code, but organizing code in such a way that is easy to maintain and extensible.


    Airbnb is an example of a software application that has applied the DRY principle. While writing code for Airbnb, the software engineering team of Airbnb created a component library containing commonly used UI elements such as buttons, forms, and navigation menus. So, developers can reuse the code components across the application where required.

  4. YAGNI Principle

    The YAGNI principle refers to “You Ain’t Gonna Need It”. This software development principle suggests adding features or functionalities in a software system until required or most important to include.

    The original words by Jeffries, a co-founder of extreme programming (XP), were, “Always implement things when you actually need them, never when you just foresee that you need them.”

    In simple terms, as a developer, until or unless it’s not necessary to add new features or functionalities in your software solution, you should avoid it even if it may be a requirement in the future.

    This principle works on the idea of writing code of necessary features only in the software solution. Because adding more and more unnecessary functionality within your software solution increases the complexity and makes it difficult to manage.

    As your software becomes more complex, it becomes difficult to maintain, scale, update, and debug your software solution. This results in wasted time and resources spent developing features that are not even used ever.

    Instead, focusing on developing necessary features or functionalities in your software solution results in reducing risks, improving performance, and saving time as well as resources.

    What is the unique characteristic of the YAGNI principle?

    The YAGNI principle’s unique characteristic is to focus on avoiding unnecessary work and reducing the complexity of your software solution.

    Moreover, this principle encourages you to use interactive and incremental methodology within your software development process. So, you get flexibility, adaptability, and responsiveness to changing business requirements.

    Therefore, with this principle, the end goal is to deliver satisfaction rather than just delivering the application quickly.

  5. Separation of Concerns (SoC)

    The Separation of Concerns design principle suggests dividing a software system into smaller and more manageable parts. Each part has its own specific requirements or concerns. So, you can develop software that is easy to maintain, test, and upgrade over time.

    Let’s understand the SoC principle with an example.

    For example, imagine you are building a house. You would likely divide the construction process into particular stages, such as laying the foundation, framing the structure, installing the plumbing and electrical systems, and finishing the interior. Each stage has its own specific tasks and responsibilities, and it can be completed independently of the others.

    In a similar way, the SoC principle works in the software design process. By implementing the SoC principle, you divide an entire system into distinct components or modules, each one has its own responsibility.

    What is the unique characteristic of the SoC principle?

    The unique characteristic of the SoC principle is to focus on dividing an entire system into particular components. This way, you can manage complex software that is more adaptable to frequently changing software requirements.

Want to Build Scalable and Reliable Software?

We can help you. As a leading software development company in Canada, we have a team of experienced software designers, developers, and testers.

These are the five software design principles that help you to develop scalable, manageable, and reliable software solutions. Next, check the FAQ section to learn more about software design principles or answers to the questions you have.

FAQ About Software Design Principles

  1. Are there any disadvantages to applying software design principles?

  2. When you implement software design principles, here are a few disadvantages:

    • Increased development time
    • Lack of flexibility
    • Steep learning curve
    • Over-engineering
  3. What is the difference between software design patterns and design principles?

  4. A software design principle is a general guideline that is used to create a good system design. Whereas, a software design pattern is a specific solution to a recurring design problem that is proven to be effective.

Choose the Suitable Software Design Principle

In this blog post, you have learned about the software design principles that help to develop software that is maintainable, scalable, and reliable. Whether you are using SOLID, KISS, DRY, YAGNI, or SoC, using any of these software design principles, it becomes easy to create robust, scalable, and easy-to-maintain software.

If you are looking to hire software developers that help you to develop scalable, reliable, and highly adaptable software, we can help you. We are one of the leading software companies in Canada, having experience in developing 300+ custom software and web applications. Let’s talk.

  • 6
Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

back to top