Categories
Apple Creativity Design Design Thinking Education Industrial Design Innovation Quotes Startup

What do you stand to lose in the absence of good design

Design is concerned with how things work, how they are controlled, and the nature of the interaction between people and technology.  

When done well, the results are brilliant, pleasurable products.   When done badly, the products are unusable, leading to great frustration and irritation.  Or they might be useable but force us to behave the way the product wishes rather than as we wish.

– Don Norman

Every company looks for ways to increase profit and reduce expense.   Many companies try to cut cost by finding ‘cheap’ way to present information.  What’s the outcome ?  Bad design baffles, confuses, distracts, dissuades, frustrates.  Your prospect moves on to your competitor.

First impression is the last impression.  Today, a potential customer’s first experience with your business is often your site or app.  If that first impression isn’t favorable in the first 5 seconds, that prospect is gone, probably never to return thus impacting any sales that would have come your way.  

Companies focusing their time, energy and dollars on good design reap major rewards.  Over a decade ago, the Design Management Institute (DMI) and Motiv Strategies analyzed the performance of US companies incorporating design as an integral part of their business strategy.  The resulting Design Value Index tracked the value of 16 publicly held companies that met specific design management criteria and monitored the impact of investment in good design on their stock value, relative to the overall S&P Index.  The result? Design-led companies maintained significant stock market advantage, outperforming the S&P by over 228% for three straight years.

Design Value Index (DVI) indicates that design-led companies maintained significant stock market advantage
Image Credit: Design Management Institute (dmi.org)

Examples

1 – This is a local train station in a city in India

It’s so difficult for children, ladies, and elderly to get on and off from the train

Reduce the gap between platform and train

Woman from Dombivli falls from train, dies
Image Credit: Times of India

2 – Sometimes, human beings make such obvious errors that casual observers cannot believe they didn’t notice their design flaws from the get-go

Sometimes, human beings make such obvious errors that casual observers cannot believe they didn’t notice their design flaws from the get-go
An example of design flaw

Good design is invisible

Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good design fits our needs so well that the design is invisible.

Examples

1 – An important aspect when going to a place, is to know the time remaining to reach that destination. The app calculates the time remaining and based on the mode of transport selected and traffic situation, it predicts the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA).  Make it simple. Make it inviting to look at. 

The app calculates the time remaining and based on the mode of transport selected and traffic situation, it predicts the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)
Make it simple. Make it inviting to look at.

2 – Too much of text gets really boring.  The graphical presentation of infographics is one of the most sought after designs today.  Make it simple. Make it fun to read.

Watch the video on what do you stand to lose in the absence of good design

How industrial design enabled Apple’s turnaround in 1997 – 600+% jump in share price in 3 years

Industrial design was the leverage of Steve Jobs’ strategy to turn Apple around in 1997.  After the launch of iMac, its share price rose from <$5 in 1997 to $12+ in 1998 to $35+ in 2000, a 600+% jump in ~3 years.  From design and business perspective, iMac was the first of many products that turned industrial design into reality and made almost the same impact as the original Macintosh did in 1984. 

Read more about how design enabled Apple’s turnaround story in 1997.

Read more about how do you design something really well.

What has most value

If you see hell break lose – customer resentment and complaints on site, app, social media, inactive or poor engagement, these hard to miss alarming metrics are creating noise and quantifying bad design.

Good design drives long-term user engagement often resulting in sales and revenue. Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good design fits our needs so well that the design is invisible. 

The question shifts from ‘What can design do for me?’ to ‘What do I stand to lose in the absence of good design?’  Play the long game.

How do you drive innovation at your organization ?

How do you evaluate bad versus good design ?

Do share in the comments!