What are your thoughts on the importance of design?
Some people in business have the thought that design just kind of makes things look pretty.
It does. And people like pretty things like websites, apps, products, advertising and more, but just how important is design?
Design is kind of like a lawyer in a way. You don’t appreciate it until you realize you really need it.
If you go to your website and it doesn’t look good it’s frustrating. And it can be very frustrating because it’s not always easy to know how to fix it. You know it needs to look good while also functioning as you would like.
That’s where a designer’s importance comes into play.
1. People Almost Never Read Unless There’s Color
Color is an amazing thing…obviously. We all marveled in wonder the first time we watched The Wizard Of Oz. Image how they felt when the movie first came out.
Color is still incredibly important to today.
One study found that simply adding color to a product guide increased readership by 80%.
It’s one thing to create great text and information. But unless that information is accompanied by design it’s likely never going to be read by your audience.
Remember when you were a kid and you scoffed at the idea of reading a book that didn’t have pictures?
It turns out that adults aren’t much different.
2. People Love Emails With Images
According to HubSpot, 65% of consumers prefer to receive emails that contain mostly images. Also, 88% of consumers prefer HTML emails, which is the code that structures the things you see on the Internet. It allows for imagery and design online.
If you’re creating emails it’s a good step to create text emails. A number of people prefer plain text email and emails with only text, but many more prefer email with images, design and visual aspects.
3. The Right Type Of Visuals Matters
One business tested the type of visuals they would show for their products on their site. The site sold art and they initially showed photos of the art when content talked about the artist. Seems fine, but they made the change to show photos of the artists and conversions increased 95%.
In this case, showing the human side of the business made a big difference. For most businesses, people want to know the people they’ll be working with or buying from.
There are a little nuances in areas of business that designers understand and can test to figure out the right type of visuals.
4. Employees Care About Office Design
Let’s switch gears a little bit. Design encompasses many areas of life and business.
In 2003, 97% of workers in a survey said that their place of work was a symbol of how much their employer cared about them. But only 37% of workers said that their places of work seemed to be designed “with people in mind”.
Design involves marketing, but it is also important in office settings. People enjoy design elements like visuals and art in the office, but they also enjoy efficient layouts that offer good flow and feel.
Think of how much better people work when they feel comfortable and efficient in their workplace.
5. Design = Higher Performance (Better Sales & New Products)
When businesses invest in design they see higher performance in the form of better sales and new products. Many businesses see value in design, but the key finding here is that involving design throughout all aspects of the business especially when developing new products.
6. User Experience Matters On Various Devices
Business channels are fragmented today especially with websites. Many people access websites via their smartphones. And the experience matters across the various devices. There is no one solution for all the channels.
In one case study, improvements to a mobile experience increased a company’s sales by 470%.
7. Good Design Includes Research
Most designers skip ahead to the design phase. But good designers take time to research. When there is research and understanding of the business and its target audience the design reflects what is needed and the results are better.
Here is a case study that describes a good research process that led to an increase in conversions on a landing page by 61%.
8. The Spaces Where Lives Are Lived Are Incredibly Important
The way people interact with things and with other people is incredibly important. Psychologists have found that people are very influenced by their surroundings.
For example, the design of a setting for a meeting has an influence on the meeting’s effectiveness. A round table in a meeting room leads to better results than a room with a traditional rectangle table.
Design, form, layout and more can influence people and how they live. Better design can lead to better results, better health, less conflict, less stress and more.
9. Photos Get The Most Interaction…and it’s not even close
Want to get engagement and interaction on social media? You’re going to want to post photos.
A study on Facebook found that photos get an 87% interaction rate (the next closest was links at 4%!). That means when someone posts a photo that 87% of the available audience interacts with it in some way including sharing. Photos also make up for 75% of all content shared on Facebook. Obviously photos and images are a major part of all interaction on Facebook.
Photos have become pretty easy to take with a smartphone, but it’s still difficult to take a good photo. Professional photos stand out on all marketing channels including social media. It’s why brands invest in professional photography and also in design to enhance and add imagery to photos they post on social media and other channels.
A study on Facebook advertising effectiveness found that adding a “Learn More” button to Facebook ads increased conversions by 63.6% while decreasing the cost per click by 40%.
That is just a simple button added to a well-designed advertisement, but it shows that design needs to look good, but also have the right elements if you want to see results.
Good designers and businesses know to test different versions of ads and images to figure out what combination of design elements works best depending on the audience and channel.
These are just a few studies that show the importance of design for businesses. If you’re looking to see results with social media, your website or any other form of marketing it’s important to invest in design so you see the best results possible. If you don’t you’re missing out on sales with each passing day.