“While some principles are more important than others and are likely to be thought about first, I don’t think you apply design principles in sequence. The principles of design are about how to communicate ideas and concepts graphically. Understanding them leads to better design decisions. While this post will focus on design, please note much of what’s here could be applied to many other aspects of life. As a general rule I think understanding more about any subject is valuable in helping you make better decisions.”
If no principles, then random and ad hoc decisions.