What is ‘good design’ and why is it important?

Good design goes way beyond just making things look pretty – it inspires change, drives action and helps us make sense of what we see in the world. Indeed, visual perception, immediate feelings and impressions, are preponderant criteria in decision-making, that’s why design is key to every sector.

Design touches every industry today. It is a fundamental part of creating experiences for customers, as it has an impact on everything we see and everything we do. From product design and interior design, through to the likes of digital design – good design is all about creating seamless, simple experiences.

Bad design is easy to recognise straight away and can have a lasting impact, affecting user experience and even hampering brand perception, while good design can often go unnoticed – consumers expect to have good experiences. Ultimately, today everyone’s a critic and in the era of digital/social media, bad design can even go ‘viral’ and live forever on social media platforms, having a long-term negative impact on a brand. 

So, what really constitutes ‘good design’?

All starts with an idea

Design starts with setting an initial objective, or identifying a problem; this is where the creative process begins – as the search for solutions begins. Design is in itself a problem-solving discipline, therefore, design thinking must be adopted and used regardless of the object: product, service, system or company in general.

Design thinking consists of opening the field to all possible solutions and then selecting and refining the best solution to a specific problem. Driven by strategic thinking ‘what does this design need to do?’, it is this method that underpins the user-centred approach and ensures innovation rather than replicating existing solutions. A good design includes the process of questioning and de-constructing in relation to the usual benchmarks. Often this leads to a reinterpretation of the known and posed problems and generates new and innovative solutions. That’s when true creativity comes into play. Whether the visual approach follows a more timeless style or takes a trend-driven approach, it must always fulfil its purpose.

Good design fosters innovation

Focused on consumer needs and expectations, good design is also a result of ‘innovation’, and constant innovation is necessary for companies to ensure they are set apart from their competitors. Designers do not only realise projects, objects or spaces, they also imagine new ways of living and seeing the world. Innovation is not only about creating something new but also about challenging objects or functions, processes and the meaning and perception we usually have of common things.

The world’s major societal, environmental, economic and cultural issues allow thinking about new uses and new services for a constantly evolving world and society. Good design is, therefore, a tool for dialogue, exchange and sharing of creativity. 

Drives action

The desirability brought by design is key because innovation primarily encourages decision-making, but it also makes it possible to meet current and universal societal challenges and above all to create shared value. Good design is now expected to create a social bond, which has become essential at a time when consumption is becoming circular and collective, as we can easily note on social media. When a design resonates to its chosen audiences, it will help convey and make them swiftly adopt new concepts that they now find attractive and understandable.

Good design will make a business, product, or service easily identifiable and memorable by the consumer. In addition, consumers will attach more importance and trust to what appears to be successful in design and in turn, they will be more likely to buy into the company or product. 

Elevates experiences

Good design unites a clever mix of intuitive and observational thinking, with the aim to make our lives easier. Unlike artists who set their own restrictions, good design is limited by the realities of the world and the people’s needs. That’s why design needs to focus on every detail and stay consistent while providing users and consumers with new and/or improved experiences.

By placing the human need at the heart of design work, and thus focusing not only on functional but also emotional aspects, design leads to solutions that strike the perfect balance between desirability, feasibility, and viability.

Good design is, therefore, a detailed process fostering innovation, improved experiences, and the fulfilment of purpose. It is important that designers stay on top of their game, researching and bringing their creativity to the table. It is also crucial to have their finger on the pulse and understand any new emerging trends which may influence consumers while keeping human needs and expectations in mind.

We asked our team of designers for their thoughts on what advances in design they expect to see next, here are some of their ideas:

  • A trend of sustainability and environmentally friendly design. This revolution has already started but will only get bigger, as people are becoming more conscious of what they are consuming and the brands they associate themselves with
  • Maximalism; minimalist design has had a real moment recently and often this kind of countertrend will follow, to keep the right balance of functionality and creativity. Expect more exuberance and absurdity
  • The animation and motion design takeover. Moving graphics are increasingly being incorporated into brand guidelines and identities as video content becomes more and more important, in the digital world in particular

Arrange a .conversation today. If you’re looking for an agency to fulfil your design requirements, our team of Art Directors and Designers are here to help you take your brand up a level. Give us a call us on 01603 252555 or fill in a contact form here to find out more.