3 Ways Design Can Make You Money And Save You Money

You should apply design to your business, not just because I say so; but because the McKinsey Design Index says so. 🚀

A team at McKinsey & Company collected more than two million pieces of financial data and recorded more than 100,000 design actions. These actions are for example measuring satisfaction after design or putting design on a high priority by hiring and promoting designers high up the hierarchy.

“The findings in this research show actions that leaders can take to maximize their organization’s chances of designing products and services that delight customers, stand out from the crowd, and drive growth”
Ben Sheppard, Partner McKinsey & Company, London.

So it’s simple, make design a high priority in your company and culture, and make more revenue than your competitors!

But how? Because What is design?

It’s more than a process, it’s more than usability, it’s more than beauty.

I am a designer for over 12 years now in agencies; as a freelancer, working for small companies, city municipalities, multinationals; and as a seasoned startup founder. The language, terms and titles were never a problem for me, I know how to sell my craft.

The industry constantly reinvents and redesigns itself, and therefore the terminology. If you start a Design Academy where you promise your graduates will get employed; the competencies, skills and business titles become a crucial part of your value proposition.

The design academy is my main focus now, and writing this has become crucial in the growth of this academy. Here’s my perspective.

Image credit from the McKinsey & Company report

As Steve Jobs once said:

“Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works.”

Design is a company’s future path to growth, revenue and global domination — not just the placement of pixels.

Design products, services or features that will help your company make money and/or save money. Here are some examples.

Better Understanding of Your Audience and Future Customers

Design is all about the details and getting interesting data from your people.

As both designer founders of AirBnB say:

“It’s better to have 100 people who love you than finding a million who just sort of like you”.

You can better solve a problem for 100 people; than not quite for a million.

Allow your company to better personalize your offerings to your target audience, a designer gathers data together with your whole team about all the touch points. What does the audience say, think about it; what do they do with it and how they feel about it (i.e. with an empathy map).

An empathy map works great in a workshop format together with your team.

Understand here is that all your people—from customer support to the developers—need to contribute. Everyone in your company has some sense of what’s going on and where to improve; but does not always have the stage to speak up. Designers can help with gathering this input, so everyone can contribute to a better company.

Design goes beyond the screen, it’s beyond the application, it’s beyond your platform, it’s part of an ecosystem — go beyond apps and websites with design.

Prove an idea’s worth through prototyping

Before your developers spend time on building something, you should and can validate your designs and prototypes

Designers prototype an idea and test it with a small amount of people that represent your user group. Testing you can do with tools like Framer and Figma. Only when you’ve ‘perfected it’ you build it, spending the precious time of your developers better.

A good product manager has this a technical mindset, makes hypotheses, and runs experiments. Our designers work with other designers, developers and stakeholders. They constantly experiment by dividing bigger goals into smaller goals.

The activity of design is helping your whole team to research, materialize and test ideas and improvements.

Our graduates work at more than 190 companies, ABN AMRO, WeTransfer and BNNVARA, to a name a few. Our students have worked on numerous projects and we have seen new products and services arise from working together with the industry.

For example with MyParcel, our graduates made a voice activated Alexa app (visualized below), connecting multiple API’s and developers platforms. The designers and developers discovered and validated another channel for MyParcel’s ‘main users of their customers’ — specifically, the people at fulfilment centers. The designers tied this all together, worked beyond the screen and nailed solving the need for this specific user group.

MyParcel meets AWS meets Alexa meets the fulfilment center

Broaden Your Revenue Streams, But Not Too Much

Imagine you have built something new and different and you have some moderate success; you are making some money. But you are not completely sure who your customer is.

When you focus on a few big customers or a user group, and you lose one, can you still survive or do you have to lay off people or kill the product team? Betting on the right horse once is being lucky. Innovating with new offers to new clients is like betting on the right horses every time. That is the real challenge of staying relevant as a company..

Design can help you understand where the opportunities are; where and how you need to innovate in order to succeed as a company and to stay relevant.

Our graduates often do projects with real companies. We build products that are aimed to create incremental improvements or additions to an existing product or platform, or some times it explores a new market, and sometimes it’s new in the technological sense. The goal of these ‘real world projects’ is to validate and test a new source of income, for a potential new market.

Designs works within your products, services, marketing — therefore your whole business.

Where can I get these modern designers?

At the Codaisseur Design Academy we trained full stack designers and developers. Next to their up to date digital skills and enormous energy, most of them have some proper live and work experience that is relevant for your company. They can all hit the ground running in your company.

I’ve talked to many companies about their wants and needs in design; I would like to chat to some more!

Have our designers (and developers) work with you to research, prototype and validate a new product. Talk to me as well!

More reading

♠Milan van den Bovenkamp♥

Written by

Initiator by Trade 🤙 I just CAN’T STOP STARTING things🚀— Design; Community, Games & Tech @Online_Kicking ♠️ — Plays Ultimate Frisbee ⚪️ 🌏

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade