In the week’s installment of the Anchor Point blog, I want to speak a bit about the value of design. More specifically, I want to talk about how an investment in great design can be converted into profit for your business. It’s an idea that eludes most designers–they know how to make things look pretty, but not how communicate the potential for monetary gains that are a direct result of their services. Meanwhile, business owners see an intangible product with no data to back up its potential. Understandably, they disregard it as an unworthwhile investment and redirect their attention elsewhere. It’s something of a tragedy, really, as an elevated and cohesive aesthetic is one of the foundational keys to any successful business endeavor. I myself am half designer and half businessman–I know the importance of making smart choices when it comes to business expenditures, and I also know the value of truly great design work. There’s a reason why corporate giants such as Google, Coca-Cola, IBM, and Apple invest multi-millions in their visual campaigns–because a visually stimulating advertisement can turn a glance into a profit. So without further ado, here are four reasons why design is a much needed investment for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
1: Design Increases User Trust
Whenever you’re in a position where you’re asking people for money, whether that be in an exchange for an existing product or service, or for the seed funding of a brand new invention, attaining their trust is paramount. Of course, there are plenty of ways to invoke trust within your users, but when someone is viewing your site for the first time, all they have to make a judgement call is what they perceive in front of them. Now, 95 percent of people wouldn’t be able to point out the subtle and precise design choices of a professionally crafted landing page, but subconsciously, they’ll be able to recognize an elevated aesthetic and will be forming a mental comparison between your site and established corporate empires who have already won their trust. Furthermore, when they’re entering their credit card information into a form that is clear, minimal, and not composed from a mash-up of dated graphic elements, they’ll be much more likely to complete the transaction.
2: Design Makes Things User Friendly
An intuitive user experience is perhaps one of the most important elements for your digital presence. Creating something that requires minimal direction and subconsciously leads your users through the steps directly correlates to an increase in conversions. If your users are able to navigate your experience with absolute ease, then they will be that much more likely to commit to whatever call-to-action you built the experience for–and even if they don’t, the positive experience will have left a good taste in their mouth, so to speak, and they’ll be that much more likely to return in the future.
Creating a stellar user interface goes far beyond just making your site look “pretty.” A wide variety of visual considerations need to be taken into account, ranging from the font size, line spacing, padding, negative space, color choices and their psychological implications, and the layout in relation to how easily elements can be reached with one’s thumb (on mobile devices). With all that to keep in mind, it’s imperative that you spend a great deal of time perfecting your experience. If you have any hiccups, then that’s money lost… and a lot of it.
3: Design Tells a Story
Telling a story with your marketing is incredibly important because it creates a bridge between the emotional and logical centers of the brain. If you can invoke even a degree of sentimentality or longing within your user, they’ll be much more likely to convert into a paying customer. Think about all of the advertisements you see on TV, in magazines, and online–very few of them simply slap a picture of the product next to a price tag. Instead, they ensconse themselves within a narrative that depicts a lifestyle people can relate to.
How do you create a story of your own? Well, you’ll need the visual aspect (*cough, cough* we can help with that), and some dang good copywriting (*cough, cough* we can also help with that).
4. Design Makes You Appear More Established
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Looking forward to hearing from all of you!