Three Key Facts You Should Know About Design
Ask any designer at an ad agency and they will tell you their job is critical to your business’s online success. Normally, when someone tells you that, you have to take what they say with a grain of salt. But in this case, they’re right. A good marketing agency will of course walk you through all of the elements your website and overall online brand presence need to effectively market products and make your services and website easier to use. There is nothing more frustrating as a customer than to go to a website looking for information or to use a company’s promised services and find that it’s excruciatingly difficult to use and look at. This is where design comes in. It’s more than making things look pretty. It’s understanding the problems your customers are trying to solve and building solutions to those problems they can use. That said, let’s look at three key facts all business owners should know about proper design:
- Some problems can only be solved with functional design. The design process should come from trying to understand your customers better. Ask any savvy business owner how important understanding your target customers is and they’ll send you a novel back in response. Proper design customers will want to use only comes from your understanding of the customer and their needs so that you know what to design for them. Without understanding what your customers need and want from you, there can be no proper design.
- Research is critical to design. Think of the design process as a research project with far-reaching implications for your entire business. The designer should be in all of the meetings from the beginning to help determine what their target customers truly need and want from your company. Design should come out of trying to solve the problem at hand, not the problem you’re predicting will exist for your target customers. To determine this, you have to research your customers and get to the bottom of their behaviors and their feelings towards the products or services they need. Only after you have researched your customers and truly understand what they need from you can you design a website and a service for them.
- Let the designers design. It’s possible to get in the way of your own progress as a company (as I’m sure you know) by trying to do everything at once. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s easy to take ownership of every aspect of your business. If you do this, though, you’re going to fail. This is why you need other resources to handle the design work for you. By hiring a professional, expert designer, you’re letting them create solutions to the problems they know are real and present for the target market. You can trip yourself up with your inexpert design ideas. Let a specialized professional work out the problems on their own and you’ll be surprised with the incredible solutions that come out of the process.
If you’ve learned anything from what I wrote above, it’s that good design is not a set of fancy bells and whistles, it’s the solution to your customers’ problems. Sometimes these problems are emotional and not functional. Customers shouldn’t feel intimidated or put-off by the look of your company website, for example. At every step, a talented designer can help you put together all of the components of a useful, welcoming company site.