Let’s start with a definition, Steve Jobs defined it well. “Design is not just what it looks like. Design is how it works.”
Good design works well and feels right. Good design doesn’t start with an aesthetic objective, good design starts with a communication objective. By that I mean what do we want to say? How do we want ourselves and others to experience what we’ve designed?
- Design makes a good first impression. You only get one chance to make a first impression and it’s not just about looks. When you meet someone for the first time, you can make decisions and impressions about a person in less than a second. Psychologists call it ‘thin-slicing’ an article in Business Insider sites, research. Design can communicate volumes in a fraction of a second.
- Most people judge the quality of something based on how it looks. It may not be fair but looks matter. People will judge your company based on the looks of your logo, your trucks, your website, and your work. Design matters.
- Design is more than how it looks. Systems, processes, protocols, and procedures are very seldom about aesthetics but have profound impacts on business success. And are certainly designed.
- Good design is invisible. Design should be experienced, not noticed. when you engage with a really great design, you might not notice the design at all. You consume the content easily. Often this can be why some people will discredit the need for design. People don’t notice when they encounter a beautifully functioning design. Instead, they notice the content and think this is why the communication works so well.
- Design creates an experience. Customer experience is best influenced by design, otherwise, it’s left to chance. Most customer experiences are a result of systems and processes. Designing systems that affect experience helps us define and ensure good service. Customer experience happens at every point of engagement. Design influences not just a Wow event, but Wow service.
- Design isn’t expensive; it adds value. The cost of the added time for good design is recouped many times over, in user experience, and perceived value to the client. Companies that value design do better in a whole range of ways, including higher profit and greater market share. Design Counsel from the UK, a charity dedicated to improving people’s lives through the use of design did a report on the value of design.
- Design defies commodification. Your designs, are yours alone. Only you can communicate your objective in a unique way that is yours. Your design speaks to your audience and that comes only from you. Good designers do this for their clients. Good designers listen to understand what their clients want to communicate and feel.
- Familiar and simple can impactful. When designing, having a good handle on the codes and conventions of the subject of your design can make it so much easier to stay on message. And help achieve your communication objective. At the same time delighting the audience you are aiming to serve.
- Leverage trends Fashion and design go hand in hand. Trends come and go, styles and techniques are current and popular for a time. Watching and being aware of design in other areas than the one you specialize, can help you leverage these trends. Keeping you and your brand, fresh, new, and simply Fabulous! 😉
Design is good for business. Good design gives you a competitive edge, drives lead generation, allows you to stand out while driving up revenue and profits. Spend on design, it feels good.
Dan Pestretto – Author and founder of SOD Systems Organized by Design, a Business Development development company focused on the Landscape Industry. He is also a certified EMyth Business Coach.