The world today is about the sale. A sale of a tangible good or a necessary service for profit. Everyone knows that their are certain costs involved in the selling of said good or service. Some of these costs include manufacturing, wages, rent, etc. There is one cost that seems to be the weedy kid picked last for the touch-rugby game, the phone call to your mother that you keep putting off. Its the design surrounding your product or service.
Good design makes your brand of cereal stand out on the grocery shelf. Good design makes people read the copy in your magazine ad. Good design even improves your search engine rankings. Good design is the great first impression you never made when meeting your future mother-in-law for the first time.
If good design is all these things then how come does business – particular SME’s – attach so little importance to it? Good design – and by good I mean considered, researched and functional – can make a decent product stand out from the other millions of decent products out there. Let’s face it, instant noodles are instant noodles are instant noodles. Its the packaging, advertising campaigns and other brand reinforcement exercises around a particular product that makes your hand reach for the tasty, MSG-laden snack you decide will best suit your simple-carbohydrate craving.
As a small studio who provide solutions to primarily SME’s, we constantly have to explain ourselves to the pale and shocked looking client after we have handed over a design quote. “But sir/madam, good design takes time! Time is spent researching, experimenting, discussing, sketching, thumbnailing, whiteboarding, critiquing, mocking-up, testing, etc., etc., etc. The concept presentation is the very last task in a long, long list of tasks. Please sir/madam, we are not crooks.”
Good design is valuable. It adds value and educating business owners of this is one of the most important lessons a designer needs to teach.