60:30:10 Rule



60:30:10 works in many other areas too;
Writing a Book
Seth Godin spends
10% of his time planning a book,
30% writing it and
60% of his time promoting it.
He often does this in blocks of 100 days.
Leadership coach John C. Maxwell has a similar process.
Both of them have written over 100 books,
many of the New York Times best-sellers and they put their success down to this process.


Social Media Listening

  • I have noticed that the most successful social brands (KLM, Red Bull, Disney, Burberry) spend 10% of their time creating content, 30% of their time listening to their audience and 60% of their time having meaningful conversations with them, or engaging quickly for customer care. Gary Vaynerchuk refers to this as his 90:10 rulein this video, which I have shared many times over the last couple of years.

Personal Finances

  • I once heard an interview on Oprah with Bill Rancic (first winner of the Apprentice with Donald Trump), and Bill encouraged people to be financially secure with his 50:40:10 model for personal finances. Not quite 60:30:10 but close. He stated that most people can live off 50% of their income with the right planning. 40% can be saved or invested. And if you are that way inclined, 10% can then be given away to charity or church.

Influencer Fan Engagement Programs

  • NPS (Net Promoter Score) is a metric used to assess customer satisfaction for many global brands (especially retail or CPG brands). An interesting observation I’ve seen over the years is that many of the fastest growing brands seem to have around 10% superfans – the evangelists who tell everyone about you. These are the ones that PR agencies and outreach programs love to target. 60% of consumers are usually passive. Happy enough to buy but not so excited as they tell all their friends. 30% of consumers are unhappy for one reason or another, especially if it is a new product or fast growing brand with operations or logistical challenges during accelerated growth periods.


  • Steve Jobs’ iPhone launch keynote in 2007, arguably one of the best business presentations of all time, was split 60:30:10. 10% on industry trends and background, 30% talking about Apple as a business and 60% revealing the iPhone and talking about the product. All Steve’s keynotes had a similar formula, with a certain narrative and method of storytelling ~ something he picked up from the way stories were made at Pixar. In many of my own presentations, I often spend 60% of the presentation on industry trends, 30% on specific use cases and 10% on marketing cloud products.

Team Time Management

  • When you have big goals and small teams, it is often difficult to organise time management within a team, in a way that aligns with your core business goals and objectives. I did an exercise at Salesforce recently where I split everyones time into 3 core areas; the main goal (promoting the commercial side of the business), our secondary goal (raising brand awareness), and our long-term goal (industry thought leadership). I could have added as many levels as I needed depending upon the size of the team. Using this simple model below in Excel, once I moved across all the tasks that we needed to do (prioritised in the correct order), it became clear exactly who needed to do what, in which order, and how many hours a week that person should be allocated to each task. It is a process that brands like Disney use to manage their hundreds of digital media and social executives and one which I think works for teams small and large. It is processes like this that help tech companies such as Salesforce, Facebook and Google move so fast (without breaking things!).

I think the 60:30:10 model is as solid a base as any other concept I’ve ever come across.

The 60-30-10 Color Rule
It is said that good designers know the rules and great designers know when to break them. This statement couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to UI design in general. From a Creative Agency perspective, every designer should at least start off following this simple staple, adhering to the rule, then really figure out when to break out of that box.
When designing UI for web sites and mobile device apps, this 60-30-10 color rule plays a vital role because the visible (above the fold) space that we have is so limited, its important to know how to balance the colors on the page to achieve cohesive aesthetics.
For those unfamiliar with the 60-30-10 rule, here is a quick breakdown. So when designing a UI for a web site or mobile app keep this in mind.
Use 60% of a dominant color
Use 30% of a secondary color
Use 10% of an accent color
Web space and mobile space are very different, so when you think about 60-30-10 for web this may translate to
60% of the site would be the negative space
30% of the site would be the content itself
10% of the site would be the call-to-action items
The primary color should cover about 60% of the space and creating the overall unifying design theme. Then add about 30% of the secondary color creating contrast and visual appeal. Lastly use about 10% of the accent color to provide that final touch of elegance.
Honestly, a good designer can get away with using as many colors as they want, however, the risk of using too many colors, is greater than the risk of running too few colors. So it’s probably always best to stick with no more than 3 colors.

Author: Aligninlight

Curated Blog - Ascension Library - Arts & Science

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