Branding Blog

Design is more than a pretty face

Written by Dale Berkebile | Wed, May 09, 2012

I read a great article this morning on the New Era of Design. I found it quite interesting for a few reasons. Mostly though, because it brought up how design is more than just a pretty face or the aesthetics of designing a website or a logo or whatever. It includes process design, service design and usability design, which sometimes are greatly overlooked.

The article is looking at the broad sense of design, not one specific area like:

  • graphic design
  • brand design
  • packaging design
  • product design
  • process design
  • interior design
  • interaction/user experience
  • web design
  • and service design, to name but a few

My formal training in was graphic design, but looking back at a recent client project I realize how much more is involved with what I do for our clients. Basically I was brought in mid project and needed to complete a development project. 80% of the graphic design was completed, but there was much more design to be done. This was a partial ecommerce site and needed to focus on usability and interaction in order to make the buying process a smooth one.

Beyond this there were other design areas invisible to the naked eye. Things like search engine optimization, web form user experience optimization (partly process design). Attention to detail is what creates great design whether it is graphic design, process design or package design. Attention to detail and simplification is what has made Apple the superstar they are today. It seems like only yesterday, but gosh it was nearly 20 years now, in the mid '90s when Apple was upside down and most predicted on their way out. What brought them back? SIMPLE DESIGN! This is especially impressive when you see Apple now has a market capitalization of $570 billion, larger than the GDP of Switzerland.

The Forbes article mentioned above talks about how people expect more quality design from products and companies these days. The article mentions maybe this is due to Apple. I would agree partly, but there are other big changes in the last 10 years. Ikea has changed the furniture market and brought good design to the masses at a reasonable price. Target has turned quality design items into everyday items instead of luxury items. Now everyone can experience design at any socio-economic level.

Functional is good, but well designed functional is an excellent user experience. What are you doing to design future success and the best user experience? One where people will talk and spread the word about this great product, service, experience? If you are not adding quality design to the mix… your competitor is and soon you will be what Microsoft is to Apple, used out of potential obligation, or contempt instead of with pure enthusiasm, excitement and pride!

If you are in sales and use social media, we are designing a report to show the power of process design when creating a sales process. If you'd like to learn more fill out this survey and get on the list to recieve the report for free. You might be surprised to see how many or how few companies have a well designed Sales Process that includes using Social Media.