in Design

Let’s Talk Design

Design, by definition means to plan and make decisions about something to be built or created; to create plans, drawings, etc; to show how something will be made. As you can see, straight off the bat, a big part of design involves forethought and careful consideration. Design is not something to be trifled with as it could prove to become the turning stone that makes or breaks your company.

Naturally, there are detractors to design who don’t really understand why it should be such an important part in the life of any company or product. In the end, they say, shouldn’t it matter more that the product is good, that it works according to ones needs or that it meets every requirement?

Truth be told? No. I have seen countless examples in which people would choose an inferior product just because they liked it better or because their first impression of the better product wasn’t all that great. We usually let visual incentives run our decision making process, when we see a product that is visually pleasing, we’re more inclined to forgive some of its faults. The reverse is not true, we rarely put a higher price on functionality than style. Which brings me to my next point.

When we’re discussing software products or web pages, design is an essential part of attracting and maintaining user interest. I’ll give you an example from my every day life. I work in a software company that sells our in-house ERP solution to clients in a diverse array of businesses. I have also finished a masters program oriented on ERP systems that got me into contact with some of the biggest names in the ERP market. What I’ve learnt? There are at least half a dozen ERP systems out there that are miles ahead in functionalities from the product that my company sells. They’re stronger, better and more stable than our own solution. However, they’re a pain to work with. Their interface is non-intuitive, their design is horrific and their user-experience is dreadful, whereas the product we sell is visually intuitive, easy to master and has a colour scheme that is pleasing to the eye. As a result, our technically inferior product can compete with theirs.


But I digress, design isn’t merely for software or web oriented companies. Having a good design is essential for any business for a simple reason: it makes your company and product instantly recognizable. You don’t need to see the word ‘Apple’ next to its bitten apple logo in order to know what kind of product you’re holding. You don’t need to see ‘Coca-Cola’ in order to recognize the shape of their bottle and examples can go on.

Naturally, the question what makes a good design follows. There are a few tips and tricks from some of the more experienced designers out there.

1. Your design should come out of a good communication between designer and product or business owner.

A good designer is worth a lot of money, but no matter how experienced he or she is, they’ll never know your business requirements better than you. You both need to make sure that you keep your communication as open as possible and that you understand each other fully.


2. A good design both stands the test of time and is flexible enough to follow current trends.

Take the Pepsi logo or the Windows logo, for example. Both have grown and adapted with current trends and still ensure that customers instantly recognize the product they represent.


3. Minimalist

Making your design as simple as possible isn’t something new. Whether you’re thinking the design of your web page, user interface or logo, less is always more.

4. Make sure your design represents your product well.

If you’re a delivery company don’t choose a snail as your logo…just don’t.


I read, I write, I sleep.