Design is more than visual accessories added to your business.
Good design is a differentiator. It reaches across targets and builds an emotional connection. It speaks your business language. This is more than marketing. This is a brand communication tool.
Design has two aspects: How It Looks and How It Works. The two together create valuable opportunities by aligning with what’s most important to your audience where they are right now. The cornerstone of that is using design to build an emotional connection. For that to happen, the visuals must have meaning to the audience.
Design does a great deal of storytelling for you. Therefore, a good-looking image isn’t enough. When you’re tapping into user experience, what happens to your audience along their customer journey from awareness to customer, you get a much more complete idea of how they like to communicate. You find what’s important to them and design to speak that language.
Good design has three main ingredients:
Notice that only one of those ingredients is about looks! Design builds the bridge between you and your audience. It’s crucial to look deeper at both your audience and your offer. Because you’re not just showing them what it is, you’re showing them how to overcome their obstacles and soothe pain points.
Design’s Secret Superpower
Did you know good design can make a business be more innovative? You might not think it, but creating a targeted visual design is one that will take you through your own relationship with your audience and ideal client.
When you start with storytelling, you’re able to identify opportunities to add value to your products and offers. This is the open-door opportunity for enhancing sales growth. Aligning your offer with customer needs is the strongest and more direct path to long-term customers and brand loyalty.
Through this you’ll also find new markets and targets that respond to you. The design process shows you directly where the strong and weak points are in an offer. That’s why it’s done before we color a single pixel.
Solving complex issues is also a function of design. How it Looks + How it Works examined in terms of experience, marketing, and branding is an excellent path to follow for any customer-facing project.
Good Design Process
The process of research and prototype can bring significant benefits such as generating new product ideas and discovering your target’s needs and preferences. These are also the steps that are most often skipped. They take time and effort but they validate the design.
Without all three parts of this process, you’ve made a lovely picture that someone out may or may not respond to, much less inspire curiosity and interest.
Design does a big job! I encourage you to review your current visuals and leverage where you have the best alignment to what your audience wants. You can dig into building visuals based on your audience in the five-part series I wrote, 5 Steps to a Better Brand, that walks you through aligning values, targets and visuals.
Design is never about you. Design is always about the audience. Never fall in love with your favorite look or solution. Fall in love with the one that works. That’s a design that will make your audience fall in love with you too.
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