Design Principles are the underlying ideas or observations beneath the surface of a solution. Principles are not tools or solutions themselves, but ways to understand the mechanism a solution is addressing. They reveal truths about a system and insights to address longstanding stuck points.

The Design Principles detailed here come from the aggregated observations drawn from both interviews and and the literature review conducted during the research phase of this project. Our synthesis of findings identified the key categories as individually valid as stand alone solutions to the Barriers identified through the research as well as working in concert as a ‘story arc’ or ‘rough guide’ as to how online communities develop from the motivations of interested individuals as yet unengaged in the world of online health communities, through increasingly engaged actors, to fully fledged online communities with real world, legal entities.

The Design Principles identified by this research are:

09. Inspired Individuals, Within Patient Communities, are Essential

10. Build Honest Brokers

11. Design for Internal Motivation

12. Build Architecture for Emergence


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