Many think that graphic design is nothing more than beautiful images, texts, figures, etc., but the truth is that there is a specific psychology and purpose behind this activity that is currently a crucial element for the growth of your business. .
True, for a long time graphic design was reduced only to a practice for creating logos, packaging, stationery and its online printing, products, but, in addition to this, today it is known that when this is also adopted as a business strategy it can transform an entire organization.
To explain it better, we believe it necessary to return to what is sought in graphic design, in this way, you can better understand its importance in business, let's see:
What is the purpose of graphic design?
Even in these times it is difficult to obtain a consensual definition of graphic design, since many professionals of the guild differ in the interpretation of what this covers. However, making a thorough review of the concepts of various experts, we can note that a word is almost always used: communication. Something we agree with 100%.
Why do you communicate in the design? because through images and text the designer seeks to transmit or project a message, one that will be aimed at a target audience. This message can contain anything, but in business you generally look for:
- Communicate the values of the company, of a product or service
- Call the attention of potential customers
- Adapt to customer needs to optimize your experience
- Persuade the receiver to buy a product or service, perform some action, read some information, etc.
All this in order to sell. It should be noted that this is manifested in the different types of graphic design, such as web, advertising, typographic, editorial design, among others.
Perhaps now that many are really aware of this, they will be thinking twice if their last ad or campaign is the most appropriate or if it embodies the vision of their company or product. But, How relevant is this message that is transmitted? How much does design influence the decision making of the consumer or customer?
The psychology behind graphic design
This aspect of the design refers to the response that each person can have regarding the object or visual communication that he is perceiving. This extends to each color, figure, image, typography and any other graphic element that decides to be used, since each of them transmits a subconscious message to the receiver and, consequently, causes him to evoke a certain emotion.
To explain it better, we will show you a very interesting video of why design matters, but first, we want to highlight an example of real life that is mentioned in it. Is about a debate that arose between Catholics and Protestants.
You see, between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries these two groups had conflicting ideas: Protestants did not find design (or back then art) important to convey their ideas, they believed that they could sneak into people's minds through understanding and not the senses, so they did not invest much money in this and ended up building quite simple but functional temples; instead, Catholics believed the opposite and they thought there was something very powerful in this form of visual communication, so they decided to invest in the creation of elaborate churches and temples, with meticulously designed figures, striking stained glass, mosaics, ornaments, etc.
FACT: This rejection of this type of art by Protestants has a lot to do with the protestant reform, a movement that divided them with Catholics by believing that they incurred theological errors such as idolizing figures, sculptures or paintings. This led to many religious images being destroyed and may be the reason why Protestant temples are so modest in art and design.
The result (as is obvious) was that Catholics were more successful in carrying the message and their religion to the rest of the world, to the point of being one of the best known and practiced on the planet. Of course, many other historical elements intervened in this popularization, however, it is important to highlight the role of the visual in it.
Check out the following subtitled video to better understand how design influences human behavior (you can put the subtitles in Spanish)
Donald Norman's theory
Donald Norman, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, has explained how we respond emotionally to certain designs and why it is so important to pay attention to them. Norman has pointed out that the human emotional system consists of three different levels –But interconnected– that influence our experience with the world:
One of the most used designs today has to do with the visceral level, which is one who tries to awaken the emotions of the potential client or observer through the perceivable qualities of the object. There is the relevance of the visual when making decisions for the purchase of a product and that is the reason why the design is important: to know how to use the right color, for example, black to suggest seriousness and elegance, or images of children and animals to give a youthful look or a particular style like Art Deco to evoke in the target audience a specific time in their life.
Then, carried by the “visceral emotion"Maybe the consumer says" Wow! I'm going to buy this product, maybe I don't understand it or I don't need it, but I think it's pretty, elegant, I like it, it catches my attention ”, think about it: how many times did you buy a bottle of Coca Cola, water or of any other object because it was flashy? The emotion evoked by the design makes the product much more interesting for our brain.
This correlates with various studies and cognitive factors. as the halo effect that suggest that, at present, first impressions greatly influence decision making and even that an image can influence the brain so much that it allows improve the usability of the product or service, since a positive impression causes the brain to relax and function efficiently.
In fact, a study by the Japanese Masaaki Kurosu Y Kaori Kashimura put this argument to the test when they created two ATMs that worked identically, the difference? one of them had a more pleasant screen design. The result of the experiment was that those who used both ATMs indicated that the one with the best aesthetic had worked best and the other simply seemed more complicated. What happened? A change of perception that allowed to distinguish and even improve the experience between one and the other.
FACT: According to the University of Science and Technology of Missouri, people have a first impression of a website at two tenths of a second. A time similar to what a joint study of the University of Basel and Google, which determined that people they can make an aesthetic decision about the design of a website in 17 milli seconds; To put you in context, it takes the human eye to blink at least 150 milli seconds. What were the designs that most attracted the visitor in this latest study? those of low visual complexity and high familiarity.
But, apart from the visual, it also interacts behavioral design, where the user is sought feel that you have control of an environment through the usability of the product, the effectiveness, the speed to achieve an objective, for example, by moving quickly on a web page; and finally, reflective design, which is the one that allows the customer to rationalize a product, unconsciously makes him wonder if you can tell a story with it, if you will tell something of your own image, if you will raise your prideFor example, buy the latest iPhone.
Paola Antonelli, curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York comments that “the designers are the ones who know the human being and they are the ones who ensure that people can use innovations, they are the metabolism, the enzymes of progress, and many times they are the ones who make progress by suggesting to scientists and technologists what is needed. ”
“(…) There are still people who believe that design is only about doing beautiful things, people and places. Actually, design has spread like a gas in almost every facet of human activity, from science and education, to politics and policy formation for a simple reason: One of the fundamental tasks of design is to help people deal with change".
Do you now realize its importance? If your answer is no, don't worry. Here we will leave some figures for you to see more clearly
3 proofs that design does matter in business
- A 2016 Adobe State of Create report showed that 59% of respondents would choose a product or service over their competitors based on a good design and even 45% of them paid more for a product or service that looked better. In this same report, 70% of generations around the world felt that design leads to a strong brand experience, being young people who are most influenced by it in decision making.
- For its part, the Design Council of the United Kingdom determined in a report on The Value of Design that “companies that see design as something integral do not need to compete as much in price as others. Where the design is integral, less than half of the companies compete mainly in the price, compared to two thirds of those who do not use the design ”, in turn, the report indicates that this type of companies that integrate the design to your business strategy They are twice as likely to develop new products and services, since this discipline gives them a greater capacity to transmit messages to different target audiences.
- Finally, according to the Accenture Strategy Design In Business report, companies with well-designed advertisements get a 125% return on their investments related to design.
What does a good design strategy imply?
Now that you better understand the importance of design in your company, you may wonder what is the best way to carry it out.
As we indicated at the beginning of the article, this is all about convey the right message to our target audience. To do so, you must keep in mind that the design must be perceived as a strategic plan, where there must be a deep investigation on how your company can reach the market.
This means work closely with the marketing team, as well as communicating to the rest of your team how important the design is and take into account crucial data of your potential clients such as age, sex, income level, needs and context, elements that you should try to connect with your company's values, the trajectory, the commercial objectives, etc., to elaborate a correct brand experience.
Steve Jobs said that “Design is not just what it looks like and what it feels like, design is how it works“, So it goes far beyond appearance, Design must focus on people's needs.
- How to make my product or service more efficient?
- How do I present the information better?
- How do I make it easier to read?
- How can I scroll faster on the website?
- How can I present the product better?
- What is the communication challenge and how can I solve it?
All these things make a difference when the client responds better or worse to the design in general, as a whole.
Colbey Pfund, co-founder of LFNT Distribution, wrote for Forbes that “the design is worth the time and money because it has proven that the investment returns. The more attractive your shop window is, the more chances you have of buying it. At the end of the day, the three key pillars of a thriving business that people rarely consider are design, function and usability. ”
Make it attractive, functional, intuitive, interactive.
As you may have noticed, a design can greatly impact the performance of your business and although it is difficult to make investments in this aspect when a venture is starting, it is worth incorporating it as soon as possible to improve first impressions and differentiate yourself from the competition.