It’s important to go beyond “Is this good,” or “Do I like it” when looking at design work. Here are seven questions that will help determine if that design is actually working.
- Is it authentic?
- Is it credible?
- Does it reflect the client’s personality?
- Is it interesting?
- Does it have emotional impact?
- How does it compare to competitors?
- Will it stand out in its intended environment?
While going through some underused reference materials I found this reference to the Danish Design Centre’s four levels of commitment that clients have to design.
Design is inconspicuous and performed by untrained/non-professional staff. User’s needs and points of view are not considered. This is decoration by amateurs.
- Design is Styling
Design is only considered for the final product. It may be completed by designers, but non-professionals are primarily responsible for the direction of the project. “Let’s give this to a graphic artist to make it pretty.”
- Design as Process
Design is viewed as a work method, and design principles/approaches are employed from the earliest stages. Solutions are driven by end-user requirements.
- Design as Innovation
The designer collaborates with client executives in adopting innovative approaches to substantial parts of their business. Design processes are used to articulate the company’s vision to impact all aspects of the client’s products or services. Experience branding.
This book was a little more focused on large corporations than I was expecting (eg: they discuss hiring ethnographers to roll out new services to foreign markets), but it had some ideas that really resonated with me. This passage describes my philosophy about brand development nicely:
Experience branding is a company’s effort to be consistent in its value proposition and its expression in every connection to the consumer.
I also marked the comprehensive – but not exhaustive – list of universally valued experiences. Of the 15 presented, I really think wonder, accomplishment, and community have the best potential for my future work.
This is (ironically?) produced by a stock footage company, partly to illustrate the quality of their footage that you can use in your own generic brand video.
This video reminds me of how many designers work. All style – no function.