The Financial Benefits of Great Design


When it comes to creating high level value for businesses, many often fail to consider the worth of one of the most important aspects of any company—great design. 

In a report by McKinsey and Company, which tracked 300 businesses over a five-year period, results show that design stood out as one of the most financially relevant aspects.

Unfortunately, too many businesses—especially small businesses—fail to recognize the need for great design. As a result, sales and profits fail to grow at a steady pace. 

The report, entitled The Business Value of Design, McKinsey and Company notes that “…one online gaming company discovered that a small increase in the usability of its home page was followed by a dramatic 25 percent increase in sales.”

How could this be? When it comes to user experience, great design creates a stronger sense of desire for a product and forms a higher level of recognition for the overall business; It creates a stronger reputation. 

A friend of mine recently mentioned a radio ad he heard while driving around town. The ad was for a design and marketing agency located in New York state. My friend, who has a business degree, believed that if this agency could afford radio advertising, the company must be doing well. So he wanted to know more and he did the first thing most of us due upon learning of a new business—he went to their website. What he found was bad design. As a result, his view of the whole company was degraded. He stated that he wouldn’t hire them and neither will many others.

On the other end of the spectrum, companies that are known for great design are expanding and growing into new areas of business. Design updates and redesigns by these companies often make news across the internet, further increasing their business. They understand that design can make or break their business. This is true for any company, no matter how large or small and whether you sale products, services or digital goods.

As the McKinsey and Company report notes, “…good design matters whether your company focuses on physical goods, digital products, services, or some combination of these.” Moreover, “…the companies with the best financial returns have combined design and business leadership through a bold, design-centric vision clearly embedded in the deliberations of their top teams.”

So, what steps should you take to create great design that can increase fiscal benefits for your company? The first step is to understand that design plays a pivotal role in how people see and value your company. The next step would be to hire a design firm that has a reputation for building strong brand through great and consistent design. 

The value of great design can result in increased sales, an expanded network of followers, and greater revenue. Design should be an investment not an afterthought.

As the report notes, “In an age of ubiquitous online tools and data-driven customer feedback, it seems surprising that design still isn’t measured with the same rigor as time or costs.”

At Acme Design, we don’t look for opportunities. We look for problems and we solve those problems for our clients. What problem are you working to solve? 

Ash Blankenship