Why should you care about design

I wrote the below in response to a question about design.

So, why should you care about design? I have heard this question before. What does design have to do with the final product? What does it matter if we use cheap clip art? What does it matter if we use a form template that everyone has seen? What does it matter if everyone has seen the photo that we’re using in our ad, on other ads.

To some people, perhaps, it doesn’t matter. To some people, having a business card that looks like everyone else’s is just fine. I know of a lawyer who asked me for help, then decided that she wanted to look like she was a lawyer, and finally chose from a book of cards specific to lawyers.

Everything in the world is designed. Your newspaper, every page, every ad, was designed. Your house was designed. Your car was designed. My first art director designed the dashboard for the first Ford Mustang. Design is behind how grocery stores are laid out, with the outer aisles being raw ingredients, and the inner aisles being prepackaged stuff. More expensive items are at eye level.

Knowing all this, knowing how the world is designed to appeal to you and entice you, why would you want to look like everyone else. My job is to make you stand out, to make people look at your website or your business card, or your ad, and see it, because it is different.

The other side to design is also making it easy for people to find you. A well layed out website allows people fo find what they are looking for, from the first page. A well laid out business card lets people see the phone number to dial to get a hold of you, as opposed to your fax number. And as the population ages, this gets even more important.

So back to the question, why you should care? Because you want to stand out for good qualities, and not for bad. The very funny website Websites that Suck shows, if you dig deep enough, all the problems that people run into when creating their website. One that he mentioned recently was people not bothering to change defaults such as the name of the page. He listed 3,970,000 Untitled Pages out there in Internet land.

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