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Design Thinking as a Culture

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The Effect Of A Design Culture On Your Business

Every business recently founded needs to establish a sense of brand identity. Existing companies must maintain an identity that works for them, or shift to something new without sacrificing the uniqueness of the brand. This extends to every aspect of the company from packaging and products to webpages and marketing. It can even come down to the logo itself.

Once the company finds a design that works, design guidelines should be written to create a design culture that designers old and new to the company can adhere to in order to create a homogenous user experience.

Create An Identity

Consumers love to follow brands that give them products and services they enjoy using. To make it easy for them to identify specific services, there needs to be a unique identity. This means to design products with similar materials and aesthetics to previous products that the company produced. Websites and services should choose fonts and styles that quickly suggest which company designed the site.

Take Apple, for instance. They are famous for their design, both in hardware and software development. Consumers can quickly identify an Apple product from the metal design, curved edges and glass screens (plus the iconic Apple logo featured prominently on each device). Their software design choices have recently changed to feature bold titles, flatter designs and translucent overlays, making their operating systems iconic. They’ve used this design for all four operating systems they make and recently changed their website to use the new design, creating a unified experience across everything they design.

On the marketing end, companies should design a creative style of advertisement that has some memorable element to it that links the product and company with the ad. Chick-Fil-A has the “Eat More Chicken” Slogan, JG Wentworth has their “877 Cash Now” jingle, Geico has its humorous commercials. Each commercial itself has a different theme to it, but the overall style is iconic and immediately associated with their respective brands.

The logo designed for the company also says a lot about it. It can have a message attached to it, or simply portray the direction the company is headed. As such, logo designs change with time. The Google logo, for example, changes daily to reflect the fun atmosphere Google wants to convey to users, however its official logo was changed from a thin, three dimensional logo to a flat and bright logo with clear edges to reflect the change in design it adopted from the older 90s style of design to the modern flat and square design it adopted for its Android operating system.

Trends Change – Stay Relevant

Design choices change over time, so it is important to keep up with them and keep your brand looking modern. In the last decade, design cues shifted from intricate three-dimensional logos and interface elements to clean, simple and flattened designs that are bright in appearance. For many current users, designs not utilizing this style begin to look a little old and outdated, conveying a sense to them that the company isn’t relevant.

It takes time and money to build a product and establish a company. As such, it is important to incorporate these trends into the strategy so as not to fall behind or spend more money than is necessary. It is also important to consider the fact that trends come and go at a moment’s notice. It is then important for a company to also consider design elements that make sense for the products it is releasing. Consumers could become confused if they visited a site that contained thick, bold text one time they visit, then suddenly have thin, hard to read text the next, and may also be unsettled by the sudden change. Many people hate the new Google logo because it is different, despite following the modern design guidelines Google established.

Most business design patterns follow a nonlinear process, constantly having checks for new trends and conditions for what is working for the company, and what isn’t. A nonlinear process ensures that changes can occur immediately, not late. The sooner a design is found to not work, or a new trend can be implemented well during the development process, the cheaper it is to change the product.

To Sum It Up…

It is important for a business to establish a design culture to create a brand identity. Consumers can relate to brands they can quickly identify. By maintaining a design culture across products and marketing, the company can give users a consistent experience. The designs chosen should reflect modern trends, where applicable, for the company to appear relevant to modern shoppers. Marketing and product strategies and logo designs should be creative in their construction and symbolize the company. These are what consumers experience first.

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