All important and all critical to the success of your business.
Design as function, that is. Design that makes sense of what your business needs to say and how best to say it. Design that establishes a content hierarchy so navigation is efficient and intuitive, allowing people to find what they need without extra precious seconds wasted. Design that is not mere surface decoration, an off-the-shelf theme or the latest shiny bells and whistles, but design that clarifies and never obscures. Design that engages and yes, looks absolutely terrific as it persuades and accomplishes the business objectives set forth at the outset.
Design that understands the big picture and how each website, each social media channel, each ad, brochure, sign, exhibit and business card are not separate entities but facets of a crystal where the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. This is your brand and is what will resonate in a noisy world if applied smartly, cohesively, and consistently.
Design that makes your business sing. Nothing more, nothing less. The most admired companies in the world do it. You know them well and they know the power of design. It is part of their culture and in their DNA. You know them well because of the power of design. Whether your business is large or small doesn’t matter — the principles are the same. Isn’t it time you did the same?
Think design. Bring it into the earliest phases of your business strategy and listen to the pros, not the hucksters. And I know you have impeccable taste and two eyes just like anyone else, but please do not think that you can “do design” yourself. Yes, I know you know PowerPoint and maybe even a little Photoshop — well, not to be insulting, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Playing around with software, widgets and tools is not design any more than wielding a brush is painting. Respect yourself and your business enough to entrust the difficult work of design to a trusted, dedicated professional who has the talent and experience to do it right.
Effective design also incorporates solid marketing principles and communication skills. It values client input, understands market trends, analyzes the competition, pays attention to metrics, utilizes and optimizes for the latest technologies, accommodates manufacturing concerns, respects budget restraints, meets real-world deadlines, stands on its head, rubs its belly and chews gum all at the same time. Left brain meets right brain. Design does all these things and if it sounds like a challenge, it is! But it can be done with the right team.
So what are you waiting for? Got design?