Design-first ! Why design-oriented Companies are the Future
Design-oriented companies have gained more and more attention in recent years. It does not remain: Good design also represents a clear economic advantage for companies.
What exactly makes design-oriented companies successful?
Design is more than aesthetics.
When we talk about design-oriented companies, it does not (only) mean that their products look beautiful. Rather, design is a philosophy that, in addition to aesthetics, also includes user-friendliness and innovation. If, for example, you had to read a user manual to use the iPhone, it would not be praised for its good design – no matter how “pretty” it looks. If you could drive with a Tesla only two hours before the tank is empty, this would not be user friendly and not a good experience, so a bad design. Good design translates into product pleasure, a mixture of aesthetics, user-friendliness, innovation and a consistently good experience.
They sell experiences, not products
If you buy an iPhone or a BMW, you not only get a phone or car, you get a new identity and become part of a community. How do companies create it? Because they improve the user experience from the first step of product development. Let’s think of Airbnb: Although it is a pure online platform, much of the user experience is offline – at the key handover, during the night or at the check out. For an online platform, it is very difficult to control offline interactions, but Airbnb does exactly that: by sending inquiries via SMS, they can ensure fast answers among their users. Through the superhost program, they have always been more suggestions for hosts to provide professional experiences for guests.
They make design for corporate philosophy.
How do Apple, Nike or IBM create consistent design and product experience? By aligning the whole organization to design. One speaks in this context also of design-first culture. At Apple, everyone in the organization thinks about user-friendliness. The entire company is structured in such a way that good design is highly appreciated and supported. And that ultimately makes the whole product much more successful than if only one design team were at work.
They create the wow effect
Design-first companies are always able to surpass the expectations of their users: because the guiding principle of good design is the joy: an intuitive, positively surprising and enjoyable experience. If a whole company follows the guiding principle of generating pleasure, then the chances are relatively high that they could at least reach this goal.
Your deeper customer understanding leads to better products.
Design-oriented companies typically place an above-average value on user-friendliness as a key element of good design. Finally, they invest a lot in the user experience (UX) – the master discipline, which increases customer orientation to the maxim in order to develop successful products. This means not only that they hire many user experience designers, but also that they develop projects in such a way that a user feedback is already made in the strategy phase (as well as in every other intermediate step).
Because they understand their customers better through the UX focus, they can not only develop better products for their customers – they also save a lot of time because they do not develop features that your customers do not want to have.