The importance and role of good design can be a tricky topic for both business starters and designers. When creating a business or product it’s vital to answer the question for yourself, how important is good design for growing my business? Likewise, designers must ask, how important is my design work in growing this business?
I rank good design at a 6 on a scale from 1 – 10. There are several business aspects that are more important than good design. This rule applies to design centric businesses as well (animation studios, design studios, clothing companies.)
Product, sales, and people are more impactful than good design when growing and maintaining a successful business.
Product – If the product solves a problem and works extraordinarily well, it can be accompanied by a sub-par logo, a website from the 2000’s, be packaged in newspaper and still sell well.
Sales – With good deals, customer acquisition techniques, and large accounts a business can grow and thrive with poor quality design.
People – a good team is the bedrock of successful companies and endeavors. Excellent people come with developed skills, effective communication techniques, drive, and initiative that elevate a business.
These areas are more important than design, however good people recognize that design enhances both product and sales. A team of creative (not artistic) people account for all areas that can be improved and recognize how to leverage each member’s skill set. They value good design’s role in making their jobs easier.
Customer acquisition becomes cheaper with good looking products, effective videos, and beautiful packaging. A product becomes usable, engaging, and intuitive with good design practices. Good looking companies don’t just attract customers, but potential employees as well – making the talent pool of job applicants much larger.
For designers – Knowing the importance of design allows you to be effective in your position. Good design makes a product better which in turn makes it sellable. At the same time, directly helps the sales process outside of product. However, design is not a make-or-break matter in the way that quality of product or quality of people is. Keep this in mind when considering your role and how much effort to allocate. Always ask, “How is this directly supporting the products, sales, or people in our business?” Design is there to serve and elevate what is already existing, not to create.
For business owners and managers – If you’ve started a business and have a product, focus on these 3 steps before worrying too much about design. 1. Make a very good product that helps solve a need and works well. 2. figure out who you will sell it to and develop effective practices to get it to paying customers. 3. Hire or recruit the best people and build a team of talented individuals who work well together.
With these 3 aspects adequately in place, look to design to enhance and grow each area. Focus a good amount of time on design and acquiring a talented designer. When things run well and look fantastic, growing your business becomes a little bit easier and a world of opportunity opens up.