Strategy

Good Design is Good Business

Does your business work with groups of people?, Are you investing resources into building a socially connected community? Or maybe

Does your business work with groups of people?, Are you investing resources into building a socially connected community? Or maybe you want to attract the right people to your business and can good design provide answers to these questions?

What is Good Design?

Understands what they are trying to achieve, it’s not just how pretty the final product is, it’s that it helps the problem solver.
Richard Heriford, President Landscape Forms

“Good” is a highly deceptive word, it isn’t specific and yet heavily influenced by personal preference. But what is Good Design? It’s problem solving, developing solutions to challenges an individual or business is looking to alleviate.

Let’s assume you want more brand visibility, a targeted advertising campaign for your product or are developing your brands website. These expectations can be addressed by custom design (aren’t they all) to suit the goal you have set out.

The challenge is to distinguish between what captivates from noise, most of what we consume is loads of noise cleverly masked as communication, and unwittingly causes a customer to tune out the communication.

Adhering to basic communication and design principles, is a step towards eliminating this assault of poor communication. Good design probably isn’t the Swiss army knife to all your business challenges, though it definitely provides clarity to customer related challenges majority of business face.

Why is it Good for Business?

It cultivates the relationship between your product and your customer. We live in competitive times and as such are always looking to gain a competitive advantage.

If you’re keen on technology advancement, you will be familiar with Moore’s Law. The premise is that computing power doubles every two years, giving us more powerful computers and devices before steadily leveling out onto “maturation”.

Applied to a business, it analyses the workforce productivity, technology prowess and distribution channels, when all the mentioned have been optimized to the maximum, what else can you do to gain the competitive advantage? Compete at the customer level.

Good design is good for business, as it enables you to compete for customer loyalty. The importance is on business growth, looking at the lifetime value of your business. Probably good design can provide solutions to Kenya Airways (our national airline) business challenges.

On a side note most industries have been disrupted at the customer level by emerging competitors with good design complementing their efforts.

What it isn’t?

It wouldn’t do any good to discuss the merits, without highlighting what is poor design, this isn’t an exhaustive list but provides a glimpse into what is poor design.

Poor design:

  1. Is not comprehensively planned to strengthen your relationship with your customer.
  2. Doesn’t clearly communicate to the customer, at worst it confuses them.
  3. Is heavily influenced by industry jargon and buzzwords with no concrete base on how it helps your customer.
  4. Doesn’t solve the problem required and at worst creates more problems.

Some schools of thought will argue that, good design doesn’t have to be aesthetic, this is partially true but is this platitude worth its weight in gold, for example when customer loyalty shift to a competitors product/service, influenced by how it helps them and nurtures a stronger relationship, will this platitude still matter?

Impacts on Customers

Good design done well lowers, customer retention costs, customer acquisition cost and improves customer loyalty, isn’t that what most organization want?

The focus of this article was on “the competitive edge a business can gain on the customer level” (what a mouthful.) and through thoughtful and strategic planning, Good Design does provide this competitive advantage.


The following sources were used in drafting the article.

  1. Why Good Design Is Finally A Bottom Line Investment http://www.fastcodesign.com/1670679/why-good-design-is-finally-a-bottom-line-investment
  2. Good design is good business http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/organization/good_design_is_good_business
  3. 4 Big Industries And Their Next Generation Tech Disruptors http://www.forbes.com/sites/truebridge/2015/04/15/big-industries-and-their-tech-disruptors/
  4. Get Ahead of the Trend: Ten Market Disruptors for 2015 http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/12/18/get-ahead-of-the-trend-ten-market-disruptors-for-2015/
  5. A Case for Good Design: Landscape Forms
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqStrtgBO8E

Ammon Victor I'm a writer, artist and developer. I enjoy developing innovative and unique ideas to help brands communicate better.