What is design – just a bunch of shapes and colors put together nicely, right? So why put the time and money into good design when you can just have Becky from HR quickly mock up an advertisement?
If you ever find yourself in the situation above, maybe you should rethink your decision process.
In fact, design is not just a bunch of shapes and colors put together nicely, but is rather a developed plan to solve a solution as simply as possible, often through visual elements. As Apple’s Founder Steve Jobs once said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Experienced designers know how to incorporate the values and heart of a company into every aspect of design that is put out, from the messaging, to the imagery, to the typeface. Read on to learn about various aspects to think about when considering whether it makes sense to invest in design.
Design Solves Problems
A good designer is able to see past the way something looks and dive deeper into every individual piece of a business, determining how each part contributes to the business’ identity. The growing field of UI/UX design reflects upon this, focusing not just on the aesthetics of a brand, but also how people will use and move through a business’ website.
A recent study from Adobe’s 2018 Digital Trends Report states that “Organizations describing themselves as ‘design-driven’ are 69% more likely to have exceeded their business goals by a significant margin.” The importance of building and designing your business strategy around the customer from day one will increase ROI and deliver maintainable results in the long run.
Consistency is Key
One of the most revealing differences between good and bad design is consistency. Let’s pretend that the relationship between your business and the customer is the same as your relationship between you and a friend. Imagine how difficult it would be to maintain trust or a connection with someone who changes up their look and personality every other month, someone who acts differently in different places, and whose values are unpredictable.
Maintaining the same brand image is synonymous. Designers know how to choose and maintain the right fonts, colors, imagery, illustration styling, and voice that fit your business best. One great way to make sure your brand is maintained throughout is to create a Brand Style Guide. This will help maintain your brand both internally and externally. If you’re interested in seeing some examples of powerful global branding, check out this article.
Trust Your Designer
Maybe you already have an in-house designer, maybe you use an agency for your design, or maybe you’re looking into hiring one. No matter what designer you have at hand, you should trust them to know what they’re doing. Trained designers have spent years studying how to create work that benefits the client and their goals. Often a portfolio or past experience is the best teller of a designer’s experience, but their ability to communicate across their work also plays a factor. Once trust is established between the client and designer, it becomes much easier to move through the process of implementing transformative design.
Good Design Makes a Difference
In February 2018, research and advisory firm Forrester released a study on IBM, evaluating the Total Economic Impact of IBM’s newly implemented strategy of “Design Thinking”. Essentially, this framework placed end users in the middle of the design process, allowing multiple teams from different areas to collaborate together and revolve around this newly applied ideation.
Researchers found that over three years, IBM’s Design Thinking practice added to an ROI of 301%, doubled their time-to-market, reduced design time by 75%, and reduced their development time by 33%. How’s that for design value?
This is just one example of a multitude of successful corporations that have learned and shared the importance of putting design first to make a difference.
Investing in good design should never be a question; it should be a priority. Not only can design be worked into every aspect of your business, but it also creates a shifted focus of thinking by putting users first.