When you think of design strategy, what comes to mind? Maybe you think it's a way to develop new and innovative ideas. While this is undoubtedly one use of design strategy, it's not its only function. It can also be used as a tool for guiding your project in a specific direction, ensuring that your final product aligns with your business objectives.
"Design is intelligence made visible."-Alina Wheeler
We all know that design affects how consumers feel about different products and services. It can make your customers love you, or it can drive them away in droves. Your plan must be well-coordinated and cohesive to win customers' approval. However, if it falls short of what they expect, they may be disappointed. Furthermore, design strategy isn't limited to just your projects. You can use it for everything where design is fundamental for the delivered product.
This post will help you discover how to make a compelling design strategy to help your future projects. I'll also discuss several principles of design strategy in-depth to help optimize your design process.
What Is Design Strategy?
A design strategy is a course of action that creates ideas that meet the needs of both your customer and business. When you make a design strategy and develop a plan, it guides your project and saves you from wasting money on ideas that don't work.
When developing a design strategy, focusing on the target audience is essential for the overall product. It also means planning how to conduct business with all involved parties. This helps people understand what you want to do and how you will do it.
In addition, design strategy helps businesses figure out what to do next.
How to Formulate a Design Strategy
Before starting your design project, it is crucial to have a set destination in mind. This preparation will help ensure that all design aspects align with the project's objectives. Without a plan, you may end up with something that doesn't meet your needs or the needs of your customers.
Your approach should be a combination of design, business, and marketing ideas all rolled into one. This arrangement will make it possible for you to meet your customer's needs while also creating something profitable for your business.
The first step to creating your strategy is understanding the design's purpose. What are you trying to achieve with it? Below are some questions to ask yourself:
- Who is your target audience?
- What are the needs of your customer base?
- What design goals do you have for the project?
- Do you have specific design styles you are going for?
- What functions are required for your design?
- How will this design impact the market and customers you're targeting?
Once you've answered these questions, it's time to figure out how to apply the design in a way that meets everyone's needs. The main concepts needed for a design strategy include:
- Product design
- Design parameters
- Design requirements
After you've figured out all your components, it's time for implementation. Your design strategy will serve as the foundation for all of your design work for the project. Remember to keep in mind that a design strategy is not a one-time event but rather one that needs to be revisited and updated throughout the task as needed.
Once you figure all of this out, you can start to develop a design strategy that meets the desires of your business and customers. But, first, as designers, we must understand certain design principles to create an impactful design that checks everyone's boxes.
Design principles are a set of guidelines that everyone involved in the design process should follow. Visually, they increase the chance of customers taking notice of your product and approving of it. When you design something following the principles of design, it should be easier for customers to understand what direction you're heading in.
Design principles are some of the most critical aspects of design and should not be taken lightly. A designer must have a strong understanding of these principles before starting any design project. Below are some of the essential design principles that should be followed when creating a design strategy.
Balance creates a sense of stability and equilibrium in a design. You can achieve it by using symmetrical or asymmetrical design elements or visual weight. When designing, it's essential to create a balance that is pleasing to the eye and doesn't feel too heavy on one side.
Proportion is the size and scale of design elements concerning each other. It's key to get the proportions right not to feel too crowded or too sparse. When adjusting proportion, always keep the Golden Ratio in mind. The Golden Ratio is a mathematical principle that states that when two design elements are placed with each other, the more significant design element should be 1.618 times the size of the minor design element. This creates a sense of harmonious beauty in a design.
Unity is created when all design elements work together to form a cohesive whole. You can achieve this by using similar design elements, colors, textures, and shapes. When creating a design strategy, it's essential to make sure all design elements work together to create accord.
Contrast is the use of opposites in a design to create visual interest. You can use different colors, textures, shapes, or sizes. When used correctly, contrast can make a design more dynamic and eye-catching.
Emphasis is the use of design elements to draw attention to specific areas of a design. You can do this by using strong colors, shapes, or typography. When designing, use emphasis to lead the viewer's eye towards design elements necessary to your design strategy.
Keeping these design principles in mind should help you create a design that aligns with your business goals and your customer's needs. In addition, clarity, accessibility, economy, and individuality are all basic principles to keep in mind when creating a design strategy.
The Benefits of Using a Design Strategy
In today's competitive market, many businesses fight for clients' attention. Customers have so many options that they will simply work with a different company with a better plan if they don't like your design. That's why businesses need to have a design strategy in place that helps them stand out from their competitors.
A design strategy can help your business by:
- Saving time and money for both you and the customer.
- Asking the right questions that bring you clarity.
- Making design decisions easier to make.
- Improving design quality.
Different aspects need to be considered when it comes down to each project's outcome. The design strategy helps businesses figure out what design elements are essential to them while still meeting everyone's needs.
You will save time and money by designing something that aligns with your customer goals with an implemented plan. A design strategy will also help businesses focus design efforts on the elements necessary to the success of their business, whether it's increasing profit margins, improving customer service, or attracting new customers.
How to Find the Right Design Strategy
Every design project has a specific design strategy that benefits both the customer and the business. So, before starting a design strategy, it's crucial to analyze your design brief and determine which design elements you need to meet your design goals.
For example, if you run an e-commerce site, increasing profit margins might be one of your goals. So, you can implement a design strategy using simple elements and good color contrast to make customers feel like they're getting high-quality products at low prices.
If your goal is to increase customer service, you might emphasize customer feedback to show that you listen to their suggestions. By using accessible design principles, you can design a product or service that fits the target audience.
Steering Your Project Towards Your Goals
Design strategy isn't only about what's suitable for customers and businesses. It can also steer your project in the right direction. It provides a blueprint to stay on track while still flexible to changes. This is significant because your design is constantly evolving as your project progresses.
If you find that one of your projects is not on track, design strategy can help you get back on track. This is done by looking at your design goals and figuring out what design elements are not supporting that goal. With this information, you can make the necessary changes to get back on track.
Design strategy is a valuable tool for businesses and customers alike. Your business can produce designs that stand out in a competitive market while still engaging users by understanding the design principles and using them to create a design strategy. Remember to keep the essential design principles in mind when creating your design strategy.
With a carefully planned process, you give yourself time to review several design aspects that need to be considered. This preparation helps you figure out what's required and provide your customers with the best options. Furthermore, with an implemented design strategy, everyone saves time and money.