Thinking About Design for Business Success

Thinking About Design for Business Success

Design is everywhere – from the tables and chairs we use, to the documents we write, to the smartphone apps we download. In fact, it is nearly impossible to go one day without encountering an element of design. Before we know it, design thinking will be a necessity for every business, not just design agencies and architecture firms.

Effective design not only pleases the eye, but it also improves lives, helps convey vital information, and attracts new business.

For example, Studio Dental designed a mobile unit that not only provides dental healthcare to those who can’t drive to an office, but also maintains the comfort of a typical office. The interior of the modern trailer includes features such as warm wood cabinets and built-in TVs.

Kelly-Moore Paints created a vivid, well-designed infographic that explains how you can build a color palette with your favorite music. The company created album covers for The Beatles, Daft Punk, Florence and the Machine, and Mumford and Sons using colors from its own collection of paints. Kelly-Moore Paints employs a variety of infographics on its website to attract customers and share useful and interesting information.

Airbnb was a failing start-up until its founders realized they needed to upgrade its design, specifically, the photographs of its listings, in order to stay afloat. Poor photographs of apartments, houses, and rooms were costing the new company a lot of business. However, when the founders started posting professional-looking photography on their site, the financial outlook for Airbnb completely changed. Ultimately, design thinking helped make Airbnb a billion-dollar business.

In short, whether you are a doctor, painter, struggling entrepreneur, or anything in between, you need good design if you want to succeed.

Though current trends show that design will largely change the future, design has also largely affected the past- including bad design. For example, renowned graphic designer Paula Sher explained in an episode of Netflix Original show, Abstract, that bad design led to the “Butterfly Ballot Disaster” in the 2000 presidential election.

Because of the poor placement of arrows in relation to the names of candidates, many Palm Beach County voters said they cast their ballots for the Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan instead of Vice President Al Gore.

Palm Beach Election official Theresa LePore said that she was trying to make the ballots easier to read, but instead, her poor design led to a national scandal. Many argue that LePore’s ballot design might have cost Gore the election.

Therefore, design is a crucial part of life. While good design can change the way we live, bad design can lead to business failure, and in extreme cases, national embarrassment.

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