Why Beautiful Design Is Not Enough
I deeply admire beautiful design. In fact, I’d venture a guess that we can all provide examples of designs we find lovely and inspiring.
When I was in high school, I signed up for a drawing class and, having always loved line drawings and animations, thought, “This is going to be an easy A.” You know where this is headed. In the first class we drew a picture of our shoe and mine was a humbling sketch of shame. But, after a semester of intense practice and a reality check into my skill set and ego, I became fairly decent. My love for design coupled with marketing as a discipline has only grown since then. The art of transforming an idea into reality is truly a balance of intellect, strategy and skill, and I enjoy working for a company that does that really well.
However, beautiful design is subjective and, specifically in ecommerce, is not enough. I’ve had several recent discussions with brand managers who’ve said, “My website is beautifully designed. I’m still losing revenue.” To generate revenue in ecommerce, we must reframe the conversation and experience so that beautiful design becomes successful design. Is your ecommerce website employing successful design? Here are some key indicators:
Successful design starts and ends with the consumer. Ladies and gentlemen, we all start with the best of intentions, but if you’re designing for the loudest voice at the table, the most constrained technology template, the fly-by-night third party tool, then you’re not designing, you’re negotiating. Designing for the consumer is imperative — do not lose sight of this. If the design is successful, the consumer will increase your revenue so that the rest of those at the table can remain in the conversation. To do this well, UX must remain at the foundation of design and stay throughout. Thinking through the user experience at every point in the consumer journey will turn a good design into a highly successful one. Without the consumer, very little else matters.
Successful design is personalized. It’s no secret that ecommerce and marketing teams have put personalization at the core of their focus. It’s not enough to put forth a good product: successful design personalizes the entire journey for the consumer, creating a level of exceptional customer experience that is unparalleled. Brands, specifically in CPG and B2B, have yet to fully capitalize on this, but they’re racing to harness in a hurry. For a website to be successful, its users must feel their purchase and resulting experience was designed specifically for them.
Successful design is measurable. You can have the most beautifully designed ecommerce website in the world, but if you don’t have measurable data, KPI’s and specific goals, you are losing the battle. Data drives every layer of the consumer engagement and you must have a successful design that provides measurable and actionable data to make iterations and improvements to the experience.
Successful design is imperative for your ecommerce experience. It will shatter goals, it will create loyal consumers and, most importantly, it will drive revenue. Successful design is more than just a pretty face, it’s the brains behind the organization.
“Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.” — Paul Rand