Likewise, companies need designers who aren’t obsessed with pixel perfect designs. They need designers who understand the business problems, that understand what keeps the CEO up at night.
Designers need to understand a business in order to start shaping it.
It’s no longer good enough to take a back seat and let other people make the difficult decisions and just worry about whether we are using correct colour palette, or right advertising campaign. We need to start understanding the business we are working for to truly understand what’s needed from a design perspective. For a design or advertising agency, it’s about leveraging the design talent at their disposal to start creating solutions for the right problems that can make a huge difference to a company’s bottom line.
In particular, the advertising industry is in trouble. Businesses are starting to question the importance and value they bring. They are starting to think to themselves, ‘Why am I spending £5million pounds on advertising when I can use some of that money to create an awesome product, that people will use, and will advertise itself?'
A good example for this is Citymapper. I didn’t start using this app because I saw it advertised, I used it because it was recommended by a friend after a few beers in a random pub in East London. I had a specific need, and my friend offered me an answer, an app that had given him a good experience. I was spurred into immediate action, trusting my friends advice and 30 seconds later I was clicking on the ‘take me home button’.
It’s customer experience that drives this viral growth.
Businesses need a creative backbone to create more delightful, more differentiating experiences to set them apart from the competition. Not a glitzy ad campaign or shiny new logo. There is also a fundamental shift in user expectation of the experience people get from a company or product.
Only designers and agencies who have truly understood this shift, will be successful in helping companies deliver better products that will have more impact, and that people will love to use.