Design matters. And it matters now more than ever before. These days, consumers are faced with limitless choices when purchasing, and there are two main factors driving their decision: price and brand awareness. When it comes to brand awareness, design will be your best friend. With most of your channels of communications – digital, social, print, point-of-sale – design plays a crucial role in establishing the emotional connection between the person and the product. It’s the medium through which you communicate the story and personality of your brand that ultimately makes consumer care (and buy).
Before we dive into the basics, it’s important to understand that the best design is invisible. Good design is something that’s easy to understand, read, and use without being ostentatious. It makes a person want to engage with your website, app, or product and it evokes a specific emotional response. To the average person, good design often goes unnoticed – and that’s a good thing.
Even if you’re not a designer, you will have an influence over your brand’s touchpoints. No need for formal design training. You can easily apply some basic principles to your thinking that will get you far. Here are three basic principles that will set you on the right path to understanding what makes good design.
Hierarchy goes a long, long way – it’s the most important thing in making your design easy to consume. Hierarchy refers to the arrangement or presentation of elements in a way that implies importance. The key is to feed the user the right information in the right order, guiding them through your story. If the user becomes lost, for even a split second, they are likely to leave. Maybe forever.
Ideally, your visual hierarchy will match the conceptual hierarchy of your content. Within seconds, visitors should be able to pick up your key points and main message. They can do this if the most important information is the most visually prominent. For example, if an article’s headline is more important than a caption in the article, then the headline should be more visually dominant. This might seem obvious, but it’s something that you can get wrong if you don’t pay attention.