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Design like you care

design-like-youcare

Design is at the core of everything you do.

The piece of hardware you are using to read this post has been designed.

The website you read is the result of a design process.

 

Design is about creating the experience that will allow your audience to enjoy from what you want to give them.

 

As a kid you’ve designed carefully this present for your mum on mother’s day.

As a teenager you designed your outfit/personal image to fit in the way-too-harsh world of highschool…

As long as you’ve cared about something you did your best, and it came out some way. It didn’t always work but you’ve learned from it and moved on.

 

Poor design

 

Poor design happen when we look for a shortcut. Something that can sorta ass the job but not quite.

Something “that’ll be good enough for now.”

And it is ok. Sometime a business need shortcut. Deadline are real. Your customers’ experience can wait.

It is true. But it is dangerous.

It is like when poor management decision become normal in an organisation, you just create an horrible culture for your company.

Poor decision happen from time to time in an organisation, and you cannot micromanage your team leaders, so everyone can survive for an other day.

But when it becomes the day to day of your company, the best people will leave, and inner politics will start to cripple the core of your organisation. So you try to fix it.

Same for your product & communication design habits.

If you keep doing what’s easy instead of what’s right, you will lose customers, and you will damage your reputation. It is a game you will lose in the long run.

Examples

No need to go very far.

We all browse the web, and stumble on these every single day.

 

Example 1: Sliders

 

Sliders don’t help end users.

It’s common knowledge.

 

0.11% of your audience will ever click on anything that is not the first slide. (Actually just 1% is expected to even click on this slide).

Yet, we still see them everywhere.

 

Why?

 

Because it was the easier not to make a decision to answer the following question:  “What should be the first thing your visitors will see when they open the site?

 

So you chose this abomination from a forgotten past.

 

While a you know it is just a bad idea…

 

 

And even without having the top designers telling you that on every venue available (like here, or here), you could have know for youself by simple reverse engineering your own personal experience.

You know you do not pay that much attention to these massive sliders, what you do? You just go to the next thing on the site.

So why expect something else people browsing your own website?

 

Example 2: Modal popup

Popup are evil since the beginning times.

Popup blockers were the first thing we invented to block spammy popup everywhere on our computers.

Today, we have this fancy thing called a modal popup.

Ah, and for those who don’t know what I am talking about a modal popup look like this one:

spamy modal popup

 

It usually will popup after a few second spent on a website, and shamelessly asking for you to:

  • Signup to a newsletter
  • Buy something
  • Download something

So while all these things (newsletters/downloads/purchases) are totally ok in itself, how dare you interrupting, like a total jerk, the person reading your site right now.

If you took the time to put content there (on your site that it) and  you expect it worth other people’s time, let them read it, FFS!

 

And if what you say in your popup is sooo vital and sooo important, then please, make it the first content item on the page. You don’t need to go full screen modal on your audience.

 

What is the point to harass your user with useless crappy gimmick that probably won’t convert anyway…

Be logical and pragmatic. The fact that you can technically do it, doesn’t mean you should.

 

Think about your users, about what they think when they see you annoying design choice… Designing is making  decisions on how people will interact with your product or with your site. It’s not a buzzword. It is the essence of the delivered experience and therefore, it shapes the perceived value to its core.

So, lets wrap it up:

We now know that sliders and unwarranted modals are to be use with care. (while that wasn’t the point of the article, I very much wanted to say this.)

But it goes far beyond some web usability.

Design is a core activity for every entrepreneur, business person, and everyone who is creating something to be used by other people. Be it a service, a product, an organisation.

What you do influence other people’s life.

 

Design should therefore embed the will to serve other people for their best interest. Because in the end, it is what is right, not necessarily what is easy, that matter.

 

Still don’t believe me. Read on.

How designers destroyed the world

I didn’t say it. That’s the title of Mike Monteiro talk. Watch it.

 

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The 1 thing you need to make your marketing work

Patience. Grit. Perseverance. Borderline Stubbornness.

<sidenote>

Successful Startup founder are usually painted as stubborn asshole who don’t want to hear anyone else advice. While some are like that (anyone can be a startup founder, especially these days) the one who succeed are not usually stubborn, but they have grit, they do not give up easily. However, pure stubbornness wouldn’t work since they need to be able to learn fast and listen a lot… but I’ll leave that for an other article.

</sidenote>

So, you need to stick to the part of the plan that said keep doing it.

The number one reason people failed, especially when it comes to content marketing and organic reach, is a lack of patience and will try one more time.

The beauty of digital marketing is that it brings you statistics, and you know pretty much what’s happening with your content, which at the beginning, is not much.

It is very tempting to let it go, drop it slowly, miss a few milestones until your plans to post on your page daily are gone, or your twitter engagement is running at an all time low.

Statistics will be your first enemy, and you’d be tempted to drop because of it. Instead, ignore statistics in the first 6 month to a year of your activity, until it become significant, and keep doing it. Every single day. And if you miss a day or a week, who cares, just get back to it, no bad feeling.

For every business owner, the day to day is soooo packed you’d be tempted to drop it entirely, or delegate it totally to some external agency to deal it for you, but even if an agency can come to help you with both the strategy and execution at scale, there is nothing that can replace you own personal involvement in your own company communication.

You have to do it, to be it and to sweat it.

Because in the long run, it matters. For real. To a point you cannot even imagine when you are at the beginning of the way.

So now go and get some of your marketing content done.

Yalla, davai, go do it… stop reading the internet, and go make the internet.