We teamed up with our friends at ZivTech to write a blog post about good design being good for business. Here's the piece, lead by their Junior UI/UX Designer, Kaci Kwiatek.
In 1973, at a lecture at the University of Pennsylvania, IBM's Chief Executive Thomas J. Watson Jr. proclaimed, "good design is good business."
Design may be something you brush off as expendable when it comes to budgeting, but it's as important as other facets of a business when it comes to the long and short term health of the company. Design has evolved into more than just looking aesthetically pleasing; it deals with how things work and user interaction.
We make a lot of choices by being attracted to things we find beautiful. In a survey from Tyton Media, 48% of people surveyed said that the website design of a business was their number one factor in determining the credibility of that business. This is a statistic we cannot ignore.
According to Design Management Institute, design-driven companies have outperformed the S&P Index by 219% over 10 years.
Design is your business' entity presented in a visual medium. Have you ever noticed the disparity between a company that focused on design versus one that didn't? Having a well-designed brand for your business has a lot of benefits:
Sets a strong first impression
Sets a lasting impression
Stands out from competitors
Elevates trust between company and consumer
Clearly communicates business goals at a glance
Looks sophisticated and professional
Influences price - paying for what we find beautiful
An accumulation of all these benefits results in increased revenue and online presence. Large companies have recognized the importance of design and started buying consultancies and investing in their in-house teams. Consider Amazon, Facebook, or Uber's design departments. Or a major influencer in this shift towards design-centered business: Apple.
Think of the brand ecosystem they've created, where everything shares the same visual language and is easily identifiable as being made by Apple. Today, design has become a signifier for innovation. Having a defined look for your company, whether that be through consistent imagery, typography, color, layout, or even the product itself, builds brand loyalty and trust.
"The companies who perform best in terms of design outperform their industry peers by a wide margin… Their growth in terms of revenue is nearly double that of their peers, while their growth in terms of shareholder returns is 70% higher." - Ben Sheppard
This all relates back to the idea of user (or customer) experience. A customer's opinion about a company is affected by each touchpoint that the customer interacts with the brand. After so many negative user interactions with a brand or its product, it becomes a negative reflection of the company. All it takes is one bad experience to mess up a customer's relationship with a company.
Good design is more than looking pretty, it's functional - Clients expect products and services to meet their needs, be instantly easy to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing. Blue Corona noted in a survey that 47% of people in the a they expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
If something is easy and delightful to use, people will keep using it. If not, people will be dissuaded.
A poorly-designed product is tethered to the company's reputation, and the negative connotation will build. Eventually, you'll lose customers. This is why investing time and resources into user experience design is crucial.
The customer should be at the forefront when it comes to design. Accessibility is crucial; a range of people with different wants and needs make up your consumer base. Design should strive to address all of them. More positive experiences make for increased sales, and your improve your reputation for being inclusive.
Design is synonymous with consumer trust. With trust being the foundation for all business interactions, people are less likely to trust a poorly-designed website, which is often people's first interaction with a company. As a society, with our decreasing attention span and craving for instant gratification, it takes a person only 0.05 of a second to form an opinion of a page. That's a big responsibility for the designer.
"The quality of the user experience is one of the decisive factors for a user to choose between you and your competitor." - Dennis Hambeukers
Design is essentially visual communication. Good design addresses how things look and function, and ultimately how they help you achieve your business and communication goals. Designers clarify how people see the business.
"Good design is good for business. Measurable, profitable, and helpful for the customer." - Design for Founders
Design can make or break a company; that is, in relation to the customer's experience and overall perception of the brand and products. A poorly-designed customer experience can, by extension, reflect poorly on the company.
There are numerous reasons why having good design is good for your business: cohesion, retention, professionalism. All of those have one shared commonality: trust. Good, informed design builds trust: the building block of business relations. Attention to design and to the user is key.
Let's not forget the importance of design as a strategy.
If you'd like to discuss your business goals and how we can help meet them with our design skills, please contact us.