No matter what the size of your business, design has the potential to help you communicate more effectively and get all of the good stuff that comes off the back of this. Things like – upping engagement on social media, people spending longer on your website, enabling you to increase prices through better branding. The benefits are many and there to be had.
If you’re a small business the difference design can make can be even greater. You can make more radical design changes, more widely, more quickly and with greater flexibility. What a fantastic opportunity!
Yet, many of the small businesses that I see are not getting the best out of their design. Why? Because the focus isn’t right. The focus is all on the aesthetic.
Don’t get me wrong, I love beautiful design and I want to see beautiful design. But, most of the time, beautiful will not bring the results you’re after.
Beauty catches our eye. We appreciate it. We are drawn to it. We flirt with it and, then, we rarely follow through with it.
At some point we lift the lid, go deeper, and look for what we really want, the thing we came for, the thing that helps us on our way, the tangible benefit.
Communication not decoration. This is the business side of design. Design that solves a business problem, bridging the gap between the company and the customer. As my old teacher (the late, great) Paul Stiff once said to me “design that doesn’t just tart it up”.
Those working in big business get this (most of the time at least). They hire professional designers that ask questions, challenge assumptions, understand their craft technically and proactively design for the end goal.
Ok, let’s cut to it. What am I going on about? How does design become less about the superficial and more about the beneficial?
It’s what I call The Design Effectiveness Triangle – strategy, creativity, functionality.