Design strategy is an organization’s approach to design. It drives how they address the creative process. Strategic Design addresses the critical business problem of designing differentiation into an organization’s products or services, not simply applying whiz-bang features to commoditized products.
It encompasses everything from on-paper brand identity systems, website layouts, and graphic standards manuals, to interactions on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter; from product packaging and sales materials at the point of purchase to promotional signage in retail environments to human factors such as workplace ergonomics and input devices like keyboards. This holistic approach brings order and direction to an overall creative process which can become fragmented if approached without a clear plan – it allows for more effective management of creative projects.
Strategic Design gives individuals power.
Strategic Design gives individuals and organizations the power to create differentiation across all communication channels, even in highly competitive markets with limited resources, through which they can gain an advantage over competitors (and ultimately, win business). Without this approach, designers are limited to solving only the problems they see today; working without a clear understanding of how their designs will fuel tomorrow’s communication objectives.
Design strategy is a meeting point for values that consumers find valuable and earning potential for businesses. It comprises of establishing a set of guiding principles that describe the business’s purpose and vision through the design of its goods or services. It assists firms in determining what to do next by ensuring that your team delivers what your company requires in order to match its success with
Why is Design Strategy Important?
There are three main reasons why design strategy is essential for your business.
- It’s cost-effective
- It gives you direction
- It helps you prioritize
Let’s analyze them one by one
Design Strategy is Cost-Effective
When you don’t establish a plan, you could wake up one day and discover that you’ve spent two years and $80,000 creating something that doesn’t appeal to your target audience.
A good product design strategy will help you to define your target audience, what they require, and how you may provide value to them. Your product launch will not be a blind shot. Instead, you’ll have a researched-based product on which to iterate in order to enhance it.
In Zero to One, Peter Thiel emphasizes the need of building the correct thing. No amount of iteration can repair a product that shouldn’t have been created in the first place. And the only way to tell whether you’re on the right track is by thoroughly comprehending your customers’ demands and how you’ll add value for them.
Design Strategy Gives You Direction
When the objective is obvious, you give each member of your team permission to make independent decisions that are in line with your company’s objectives. There’s a term in psychology called “decision fatigue,” which refers to the erosion of people’s decision-making abilities when they make many decisions. It’s for this reason that people like Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg became known for never changing their clothing.
You’ll sleep better at night knowing that your entire company is working in concert to achieve your monthly recurring revenue objectives or reducing churn by half. It will also free up time for you to make more high-order judgments.
Design Strategy Helps You Prioritize
Often, simply being user-friendly isn’t enough. Many customer demands may be time-consuming to implement and provide little benefits. You might wind up becoming a “feature factory” if you always do what your customers ask for.
However, if you have a design strategy in place, your team will focus on the features that strike the optimum balance between high return and low effort, producing the most value for the most of your clients. It’s a more sustainable method to create money.
A plan for design will aid your company in determining what the next move and following action should be. This understanding will allow you to make better judgments and obtain a competitive advantage.
An Example of Strategic Thinking in Design
At first, the notion of strategic thinking may appear to go against conventional procedure. It might appear that a better design strategy is to stick with tried-and-true methods that have always been employed. However, using design as a weapon does not imply sacrificing what is pleasant.
Here’s an example:
A potential customer comes to a designer and says that they need a new landing page because the existing one is out of date and isn’t attracting leads. phrases like “we require something new” and “it must be clean and modern” are used by the client. A refresh of the design is agreed on by both parties. The project continues after the client completes a typical questionnaire. User research (competitive analysis, etc.) begins once the form has been returned, and the team goes ahead with the project.
The design team follows a typical “back-and-forth” approach to creation, making numerous iterative changes until they reach something acceptable to the customer.
When the design team employs deliberate thinking to tackle the same project
The client’s needs are assessed by the lead designer, who consults with the team to determine what the client has requested and solves any present limitations (time, schedule, personnel, etc.). The project is authorized.
They come up with a set of activities and goals that will accomplish the client’s business objectives from this conversation. They also decide how to measure the results. The project begins with a focus on the tasks and goals that will define a successful set of results. Every stage in the design process is done with a view toward meeting these goals in mind.