Four Reasons Good Design Will Help Your Bottom Line

Four Reasons Good Design Will Help Your Bottom Line

As a graphic designer, I know that good design is good business. I know that without good design, communications do not educate and engage employees effectively. High-performing organizations make employee communications a priority. They know that an engaged workforce contributes to the company’s success.

The organizations that engage their employees the most know that good design helps that goal. It’s the constant the blends message, images, illustration, typography and motion graphics into an appealing whole.

Here are four reasons good design is good business.

1. Good Design Pays Off

The DMI Design Value Index applies six good design management criteria to publicly-traded U.S. companies on the S&P 500 Index. The criteria reward companies that invest in good design practices as a business strategy. Some tactics include:

  • Designers have a presence on the leadership team
  • The company grows its investment in design
  • Design is integrated into company procedures and policies

Of those companies, 16 met the standards of good design. These members of the Design Value Index outperformed the rest of the S&P by 211%.

“We see design not as a pure factor that makes our DVI company’s stocks perform better on the stock market, but rather as a highly integrated and influential force that enables the organization to achieve outsized results,” wrote Jeneanne Rao, CEO of Motiv Strategies, who partners with DMI to create the list.

2. Good Design Saves Time

When it comes time to decide on format—for example, a JPG, TIF, EPS, PDF or GIF —a good graphic designer knows which print or digital format gets results. If it’s alphabet soup to you, it may be time to engage a designer. The same goes for RGB versus CMYK color modes, paper weights, and uses and types of website content management systems. Are your communications scaled properly and do they have enough color contrast to be easily read when published?

Graphic design professionals have the training, mastery of industry software and years of experience to make the correct choices. You won’t have to waste time and aggravation to try to figure out what makes for good design.

3. Good Design Saves Money

It pays to invest in good graphic design. Cheap design often means poor design. Yet, poorly designed graphics can be more expensive in the long term. Without the expertise of a professional graphic designer, you may end up with a product that is not formatted for print or online publishing. It could be expensive to print due to color management or layout problems.

Changes, delays and redesigns cost money. A cheap, crowdsourced logo may end up costing more than one from a higher-priced, experienced graphic designer. It’s just further evidence that that good design is good business.

4. Good Design Keeps Employee’s Interest and Attention

Whether it’s webpages, emails or printed materials, communications with high-quality visuals grab attention at a higher rate than those with poor design and no images. Online shoppers cite image quality as one of the most important criteria in their purchasing decisions. In one study, 46% of people ranked a web site’s design as the number one way they rate a brand’s credibility.

Good graphic design uses smart layouts, high-quality photography, infographics, illustrations and video to create successful, attention-getting communications.

Mike Turko

Written by Mike Turko

Mike is a senior graphic designer at Trion. He specializes in communicating ideas through both print and digital design mediums. Mike also works to develop custom, interactive digital marketing campaigns that effectively engage a variety of employee audiences.

Trion Communications mike.turko@trion-mma.com

Do Learning Styles Matter When You Communicate About Benefits?

Do Learning Styles Matter When You Communicate About Benefits?

“I’m more of a visual learner.”

How often have you heard people use this phrase to describe the way they learn? You may have even said it in reference to yourself. A popular definition of learning styles labels people as either Visual, Aural, Read/Write, or Kinesthetic (VARK) learners.

The idea that each person has a single “learning style” that ensures they retain the greatest amount of information is popular. It’s also a concept that researchers dispute and journalists pronounce dead (some might say gleefully).

It can be hard to turn back the tide of public opinion. The idea learning styles matter when you communicate has mass appeal. A 2014 survey of teachers found that 96 percent believed in learning styles. This creates a culture where school teachers, university professors, and corporate trainers try to cater to what they perceive as students’ dominant learning styles.

What people traditionally classify as learning styles are personal preferences to receive information. The truth is, we have the capacity to learn using any or all of our functional senses. After all, looking at a picture of a lemon does nothing to teach you what it smells like.

Difficult or detailed concepts, such as employee benefits, require a multi-faceted communications approach. This will increase comprehension and retention. Keep these three ideas in mind when you help people learn about their benefits.

1. Use the whole toolbox

A frequent criticism of the theory that learning styles matter is that it limits the way presenters share their materials. The popular assumption that most people are “visual learners” might explain the prevalence of PowerPoint presentations. Make an effort to diversify the way you communicate about benefits. Include tactics that connect with people who prefer to read or listen to content rather than passively watch a presentation or video.

2. Rely on repetition with variation

While you want consistency among your messages, look for ways to vary your content to keep people engaged. Take a set of PowerPoint slides and re-work the information into an eye-catching infographic or a script for a podcast. Don’t forget to let people know that these other forms of the information are available. This creates continuity and gives employees a choice for how they consume content.

3. Never neglect the message.

Perhaps the best thought on how to help people learn comes from Neil Fleming, the New Zealand researcher who developed the popular VARK learning styles questionnaire: “VARK tells you about how you like to communicate. It tells you nothing about the quality of that communication.”

To put it another way, the best starting point for any communication is a clear, strong and consistent message. Once you have that in place, concentrate on presenting the information in a variety of ways. That enables employees to choose their preferred way to receive your message.

 

 

Andrew Clancy

Written by Andrew Clancy

Andrew is an experienced communications professional who specializes in multimedia content creation. He enjoys the process of building communications solutions that achieve an organization’s objectives while empowering its employees through education.

Trion Communications Andrew.Clancy@trion-mma.com