Have you ever tried to pull a door that needs to be pushed?
Or struggled to find a button you need to click on a website? Taken more than half a second to work out which is the hot tap in hotel room, or how the shower works? Or dealt with a customer complaint where they’ve misunderstood something about your product or service?
These are all, fundamentally, design problems.
Each problem could be solved or prevented with some care and attention paid to design: the style and position of door handles; building a website with the needs of the user in mind; deigning to put ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ labels on a tap even if it doesn’t fit with the exclusive aesthetic; reviewing every aspect of your customers’ experience with your business to see how and where it could be improved.
Good design makes people’s lives better. It makes your customers happier (even if they don’t realise why), and your business more successful. Good design creates a better experience, and that tends to increase sales, reduce complaints, improve customer retention, lower costs and save time.
Bad, or equally no design, basically tells your customer, they’re not very important to you, their custom doesn’t matter, and you’re not motivated to make their experience better. And, unsurprisingly, that tends to create the opposite outcome.