Design is an amorphous term. Many hold the belief that design refers solely to visual design. When discussing websites or digital products, however, we know better. Design encompasses a boarder and more diverse spectrum than ever before.
Designers are not lone wolves operating only within a small sliver of a project timeline. User experience designers, information architects, visual designers, and developers all have the power to influence design and the responsibility to contribute. Design is critical to all who have a hand in shaping a product or offering.
The good news is that companies of all shapes and sizes are realizing the value of design. Embracing the design process and encouraging ownership among all team members helps pave the way for the short- and long-term benefits that good design can offer.
The short-term and tangible value of design is easy to measure:
- A well-designed web app saves users time. If an internal tool can save a customer service rep a few seconds on each call, a week's worth of calls means hours saved. That increased efficiency has very real monetary benefits when expanded to months, quarters, or years.
- A well-designed website lowers barriers to entry and revenue generation such as subscriptions, memberships, or e-commerce purchases.
- An intuitive portal means customers make less mistakes, reduced frustration and calls to customer support.
The long-term value of design can be less tangible but equally important:
- Employees who find their tools work for them are likely to be happier, more productive, more engaged, and loyal.
- Customers who have a positive interaction with your digital offerings will walk away more likely to use those products again or interact with your brand in a new way.
Companies large and small are building diverse teams of talent aimed at designing better digital offerings. Product owners embrace the idea that good user experience is no longer optional. C-Suites recognize that good design is not just a niche startup mentality.
What makes design good or bad is a conversation for a different day and a different blog post, but there's no doubt that when companies recognize the value of design and make it an integral part of their culture, good things happen.