Why design is the secret to business growth

Julie Strawson
I believe in a simple world, where brands run seamlessly across touch points and consumers are delighted, not continually frustrated. That's why I'm championing Exonera. We're bringing marketing and technology together to help businesses deliver better customer experiences and show measurable results.

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Design is a powerful way to differentiate your business

Who thinks about design in your business? Is there a dedicated person? Do you rely on an agency? Or is it a mystery, that seems to be a nice to have, mainly associated with aesthetics? Well if you're not thinking about it as core yet you should be. It's a key ingredient for growth and here's why....

Deloitte's Global Human Capital Trends found that over 10,000 companies view the future to be about increased diversity in the workplace and while 38% of companies expect their organisations to be fully automated within 5 years the outcome will be to redesign work rather than eliminate jobs. That means redesigning your business from the inside out. 

Processes, products and services will all need to be designed for a far more diverse, digitally engaged audience to use. Young, old, savvy and novice technology users are all part of our digital society and it's time to create products and services that they can access the way they need to. Because when you do this they will become dedicated, loyal users.

Beyond this we are learning more about the strength of a diverse workforce and how different ways of thinking contribute.

The term neurodiversity is an approach whereby people who basically think differently and learn differently are recognised and supported. Great business minds that could be considered neurodiverse include dyslexia sufferer Richard Branson and David Neeleman of Jet Blue Airways who is affected by Attention Deficit Disorder.  

While most companies are currently avoiding accessibility guidelines on websites as an inconvenience the philosophy of inclusive design will help improve customer experiences for everyone.

The way to engage and delight people depends not on how many times you thrust a ridiculous image into their face or enable them to play a game, but by letting them interact with you in the way they find simplest and most effective. It's about the person. Not the technology.

Studying individuals and how they behave is core to design inclusivity which can change lives the subject of a recent lecture that I gave at The University of Greenwich.

To change things the continued standardisation of software and technology platforms and consequential exclusion of many people needs to end. It's important to start with human factors again and emphasise this in the education process for digital designers.

University of Greenwich's Department of Creative Professions and Digital Arts are helping to connect industry with design through their Design Roast lecture series. It's an open discussion group for anyone interested in creative design practices and theories of cross-disciplinarity, interactive design, new media technologies, visual communication and philosophies of the state-of-the current and future design.