How Effective Design Impacts Your Industry
Design is a big part of reaching customers and moving them through the sales funnel, no matter what type of business you own.
Some industries are impacted in ways others aren’t, but they should still keep an eye on the bottom line and understand how excellent design improves revenue.
According to IBISWorld, there are over 1,300 industries in the United States.
However, many fall into broader categories such as education, manufacturing and medical. For example, hospitals are a 938.1 billion dollar industry, while public schools make up $791 billion per year.
However, there are smaller business niches within both healthcare and education.
Who defines what an effective design is? Your customers get the final say in how well a website, store layout or product works for them.
Be sure you frequently survey your audience to see how you might make adjustments to meet their expectations better.
Why Is Design So Important to Business?
Design affects everything you do in your business. If you send people to your website, it can make a good or bad first impression.
When people walk into your brick-and-mortar store, the design of the layout can encourage them to spend more money or leave immediately.
Excellent design creates a good user experience (UX) and benefits the business at the same time.
The easiest way to understand how effective design impacts your particular industry is to look at broad categories.
We’ll talk about how you can tweak your designs to serve your customers better and grow your business for each niche.
How Effective Design Impacts Various Industries
1 – Food
When you think about food, the design might not be the first thing that comes to mind. After all, doesn’t taste matter the most?
However, you have to get people into your restaurant, and then you have to keep them coming back for more.
The design of your restaurant must be visually appealing. No one wants to eat in an establishment where paint is peeling off the walls, and the design is blah.
Instead, choose colours that tap into people’s emotions, such as red for excitement or blue for calm.
You also must allow enough space between diners for them to feel comfortable. This is particularly important in a post-pandemic world.
It would help if you balanced having enough tables to turn a profit and reduce wait times while allowing safe social distancing between groups.
The layout of your restaurant makes a huge difference in how many tables you can fit in the space.
The design also comes into play when it comes to the presentation of your food. Is it just thrown on the plate, or is the presentation a culinary masterpiece in itself?
Even your point of sale system has an effective design that works well for your business or needs adjusted.
2 – Retail
The layout of your store should create a good flow so customers can go from doorway to products to checkout in one fluid motion.
Don’t forget the most important design element for a retail store, which is the decompression zone.
When people first enter the doors, they need a minute to acclimate themselves to the store’s layout and atmosphere. You can encourage this by offering a little extra space and clear signage about their next step.
Use interesting displays of featured products to draw them into your store. Hang signs pointing the way to the sales items, new items and checkout area.
Don’t forget the vibe you want your store to give. You can enhance this with colours, sounds and even scents to create a complete experience for your customers.
Small details have a significant impact on retail. Even the colour and design of the shopping bags you place purchased products in can attract attention to your brand.
3 – eCommerce
Although a branch of retail, e-commerce is a different beast when it comes to effective design.
Your customers will visit your establishment digitally, which makes your website your business’ focal point.
The functionality of your design becomes as crucial as the look. Users must be able to see intuitively how to navigate through your pages.
A traditional website layout is the best bet with e-commerce. Save the unique features for your hero slider or your email promotions.
Make sure your navigation is consistent and falls into four or five main categories. You can always use subcategories and even sub-subcategories to filter your products better.
In addition, your product pages must be spot on. Use beautiful images to highlight product features.
Allow room for a description and include the option of a review on your site so people can see what others think of a product.
4 – Education
Education is one of the largest industries out there. Not only are there K-12 public institutions, but you could also categorise colleges, preschools, private schools and even educational products into this category.
When it comes to effective design, anything education-related must be easy to use and add value to knowledge.
For example, if you sell an app for preschoolers to learn their ABCs, it must be intuitive to little minds. Think about the functionality of the design for smaller fingers on a small mobile device as well.
On the other hand, if you run a training program, you might utilise design for your website, classroom layout and other areas of your campus.
The design could even impact how you plan out classes and your typical training schedule.
5 – Technology
Simplicable defines the technology industry as having around 34 different segments, but these constantly grow as discoveries are made and computers and automation advance.
Some categories include software development, cloud computer, consumer products and information technology (IT).
If you run a business in the tech sector, then you know that each one is unique. Figuring out the designs that work for your brand takes time and attention to detail.
Start by looking at the websites of your competitors. What do their designs look like? Are there any colours used consistently? Why do you think that is?
Pay attention to more traditional layouts. Even though the technology is fresh and cutting edge, the scientific principles behind the field are mathematical and predictable.
Those who love tech tend to love it when you meet customer expectations.
You also may need to utilise design for the layout of your office space. Do you want an open concept? Perhaps you want some work pods where people can focus without interruptions?
Think about what benefits you and your employees most. Your company culture will likely dictate the design of your office.
You also can apply design principles to any software or devices you create. Pay attention to good usability for your customers. Make sure anything you create is accessible to people of all abilities, too.
6 – Manufacturing
Effective design permeates many aspects of manufacturing. You must figure out how to layout a factory to start from raw materials and go to a finished item.
In what order do things occur? Where is each machine placed for maximum efficiency?
Perhaps more than in other industries, you’ll find ergonomics and OSHA regulations coming into play.
How can people stand in front of a machine and ensure it does its job without injuring themselves?
OSHA offers advice for more than just factories, in any case.
They recently issued guidance for healthcare for all industries, stating that even fully vaccinated people should wear masks in workplaces where they work close to others.
Companies and employees must decide what works best for them. Still, following guidelines for dealing with COVID-19 and other safety concerns can help alleviate accidents and illness in the workplace.
Minor adjustments such as spacing out workstations can help with the overall safety of your factory floor design.
An overlooked area for some manufacturing companies is their website. Yet, many of your customers will check out your website before contacting you about doing work for them.
Go ahead and ramp up your site, adding plenty of content and modern touches to the design.
Stick away from anything too trendy, and go with a traditional approach that shows off your personality as a brand.
7 – Construction
The construction industry isn’t one you might think of when you consider an effective design.
True, they might build a structure, but an architect and engineers tend to be the ones who draw up the blueprints and come up with layouts and such.
However, the design still impacts this industry. First, you should be up to spend on current trends within your niche. If you build homes, what are some popular features and are your employees ready to add in those design elements?
If you create commercial space, what types of offices are most brands going with today? For example, the open concept is on its way out, and a more hybrid approach is currently trending.
You’ll also want to design an excellent logo to place on your equipment and work trucks and vans.
A stellar website should show off many of your finished projects, so potential clients get a feel for the quality and scope of your work. Create a gallery to highlight your skills.
8 – Healthcare
Healthcare is one of the largest industries in the world, growing at a fast pace that doesn’t show any signs of slowing. Design impacts nearly every facet of healthcare.
For hospitals and medical centres, the layout of the building is typically created by designers with a background in medical interior architecture.
Things are often grouped, and designers must consider the length of time it takes to get someone to a spot for a CT or MRI, particularly in trauma situations.
Those who create medical devices and equipment must consider the name, packaging and functionality of the product.
The design takes on a new meaning when it comes to creating medicines, including the overall design of the human body and how different medicines interact with different compositions.
Effective design is all around us, and it is seen in healthcare more than in many other business types.
Even the design of medical equipment can make for a more successful surgery. Expect rapid changes in this sector as technology and machine design advance in the coming years.
9 – Finance
Finance is another area you might not immediately think of when considering industry and design. However, the impacts on this are wide-reaching.
Whenever a new investment program comes into play, it must have specific design elements. There must be a balance between profits and fees.
There must be different stock options for mutual funds to give investors the best chance possible for a profit.
You’ve likely noticed that most banking and financial institution websites use blues and golds in their designs.
Blue lends itself to stability and has a classical look. People tend to shy away from trendy looking companies when it comes to what happens to their cash. They want to know they can trust your brand, and you know what you’re doing.
Banks also need excellent UX design so customers can access their accounts 24/7 and complete complex tasks such as mobile deposits and money transfers.
New machine learning and automation helps speed up the entire process.
Another aspect of web design with finances is security measures. The personal information and funds most banks hold can put people at risk for identity theft and fraud.
Make sure you have a team watching for any issues and reacting immediately to suspicious activity.
Triggers can be automatic, and you can combine your systems with autoresponders that text the customer and ask if they made an unusual purchase.
10 – Real Estate
Design impacts real estate on multiple levels.
First, home stagers tend to come into properties and prepare things from the home design side, so the house appeals to the most people possible and has a better chance of selling for the asking price.
The real estate industry has also been on the cutting edge of using 360-degree views online.
They add images of the home inside and out, and the user can rotate around, see it as though they are there.
With more people buying homes based on description and photos, the ability to walk someone through without them being there is priceless.
The current real estate market in the United States is running at breakneck speeds. In many areas, houses sell within days of listing.
Inventory control measures must be put in place on any website a real estate company runs.
It would be best to make a pending sale tag simple to go up on the listing as offers come in. Tie the website into your databases and automate the process.
What Makes an Attractive and Effective Design?
Attraction is in the eye of the beholder, but if you stick to some effective design principles, you can ensure your site is highly functional and pleasing to look at.
Allow plenty of white space between elements, stick with two or three primary colours and get feedback from your customers about what they love and hate.
Make sure your site is highly effective by testing every link. Does your site do what it promises to do?
Customers should receive feedback when they perform any action so they know it was successful.
Author Bio: Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.