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Design isn't about making things pretty.
OK, it is. But that isn’t all.
Good design is good business because it gives your customers exactly what they want. They want effortless and joyful experiences, clear communication and to know precisely what they're getting. Good design solves all those problems for you.
It isn’t style over substance. You can't slap a good-looking website together to cover up a flop of a product and expect that to build long-term business for you.
But when you combine your amazing product or service with great design, that's when you're unstoppable in the market.
Here’s exactly how design contributes directly to your bottom line.
Companies with excellent design — a strong brand and appealing website — outperform the S&P Index by 219%, according to software company Adobe.
That isn’t merely a coincidence. There are no coincidences in business, right?
It's because good design influences how your customers behave. A well-designed ecommerce website can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra sales by implementing psychological buying factors, such as a sense of urgency.
By adding a sense of urgency, you can increase conversions by 332%, according to CXL, a provider of conversion rate optimization services.
This can be as simple as changing the wording of your “add to cart” buttons to be more direct, for example, from "Add to Basket" to "Buy Now." Or it can be done by using a timer countdown to indicate how long you'll "hold" the customer's order before releasing it to others to buy, or how long a special deal is valid.
According to several studies published by Stanford University, people determine the credibility of a business based largely on design factors, such as professionalism.
Studies published by Taylor & Francis show that visitors form an opinion about your website in 50 milliseconds. That's how long you have to make a first impression.
This is especially important now during the coronavirus pandemic. In most places in the world, you cannot meet face to face with clients or prospects easily like before. You must rely solely on your digital presence to be seen as legitimate.
At a minimum, your website should be professionally designed by a reputable agency or contractor and be thoroughly tested to be functional across all device types, including mobile. Speed is also a major factor. About 47% of people expect a website to fully load in 2 seconds or less, according to a study by content delivery network services provider Akamai.
More than simply leaving, roughly 45% of people also report they're less likely to buy from a company with a slow website, according to software company Unbounce.
A slow website is the digital equivalent of a weak, forgettable handshake. Don't give customers a chance to write you off before they even know you with a slow or badly designed website.
Design isn't all visual. Good design in your business is more than how a website or software program looks. It impacts how it works, too, and the experience users have with it.
By making an experience easy or fun, you make it easy for a customer to come back, buy from you or recommend you to someone else.
Think about the last time you were frustrated by an unclear website process, slow loading times or glitchy apps. Would you recommend that company to a friend? Obviously not.
Not only would you be missing out on referrals with a bad design, but you also would be alienating your existing customers. According to a study by AppDynamics and the University of London, nearly 90% of customers said they had stopped using an app because of a bad user experience.
Part of user experience also is using inclusive design. This ensures that people with disabilities can use your website and software. Poor design that does not take access needs into account will prevent customers with disabilities from buying from you and is a negative strike against your brand in many ways. While of course you should simply want to promote inclusion in your company, you may be thinking, "That's not that many people."
Actually, 1 in 4 Americans has some form of disability, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You wouldn't want a quarter of your potential customers unable to engage with you, right?
A few common design solutions for accessibility are to include a font size selector, use contrasting colors for background and text that make it easy for visually impaired people to read and to include alt text on all images for screen readers to understand.
How do you get qualified leads to your website?
You lure them in with targeted ads and organic content marketing that offers solutions for their problems, right? The same is true for the design of your website.
Branding is what attracts your target audience because it has been strategically designed to do just that. Good branding is what people remember about you.
Your logo, the colors you use, fonts, image and photography styles — all this isn't random or there to simply look pretty. It's there because your target audience responds to those colors and that imagery.
A good designer knows this and when given a brief on who you're trying to reach, will deliver an aesthetically pleasing package that your target customers can't help but be drawn to.
And as you know, hooking a live one is the first step in your funnel. You can't get them on the hook without having a solid, clear and eye-catching design.
As I mentioned above, a strong brand consists of an overall look and feel customers associate with you. But your brand is also how you come across. Are your communications fun and casual, like talking to a friend? Or are they formal and corporate?
There is no wrong answer when it comes to branding. It's all about portraying your company in a way that is authentic to your values and resonates with your target audience.
All your digital assets, marketing materials and social media content should follow a consistent look and communication style to further cement your brand image and personality in your customers' minds.
Good branding sells more. Consistent visual branding across all channels can impact your revenue by up to 33%, according to research by Lucidpress.
Good design is good business and it isn’t optional anymore.
Consumers expect you to have a well-designed website, easy to read marketing materials and a professional and consistent brand. Anything less and you don't appear to be a legitimate company by today's digital standards.
You wouldn't cheap out on critical elements of running your business, like computers or necessary personnel, so don't cheap out when it comes to the design of your brand. Good design is one of the strongest business assets you can have, especially during a recession.
Don't skimp out: Go for the full lobster. Get a website and brand professionally designed that's going to propel your company forward by building trust, attracting qualified leads and positioning you as a market leader among your competition.
Need help with developing a target audience or planning a marketing strategy that takes full advantage of your brand? Get in touch for a free consultation today.