Have you ever thought about why modern design-centered businesses are more profitable? They are capable of reaping benefits from getting UX improvements in their products. They are also prioritized to earning an opportunity to impact their strategic decision-making more efficiently. Good Design is good for Business.
The Business Impact of Design: Five Best Practices Shortlinks:
- Best Design Practice #1. Understanding your stakeholders and their goals.
- Best Design Practice #2. Focus on goals first, then - on metrics.
- Best Design Practice #3. Understand what makes a good metric.
- Best Design Practice #4. Ask for help – you’re not alone.
- Best Design Practice #5. Use design superpowers for bringing numbers to life.
Equip your business professionals with the five best practices to guide their struggle measurement & access their efforts. Have a look at crucial takeaways to incorporate into your strategy. Start with educating your team. Learn together with them on essential practices that business leaders should also adopt.
Understand your Stakeholders & their goals better
First & foremost, it is necessary to understand your stakeholders, what their goals are. Apply design research methods to find it out. Then, you will be able to identify the best meaningful & easy to use metrics to align with those goals. Tether them to business outcomes, while partnering with data science or finance analyst teams, and decide how to measure them better.
Get your Design Teams better at communication & measurement
To produce a design that makes sense, quantify the team’s impact. Make it critical to the business through UX improvements prioritized. Elevate UX impact & reach, and get funds for design resources.
“Only 17% of respondents in Forrester’s Q3 2019 State Of Design Teams Survey indicated they regularly measure the impact that design has on projects.”
Incorporate Customer Stories into your Hard Results
Supplement your traditional ways of result reports, like dashboards, with your design chops and customer success. Bring positive results in real life. You may use storytelling techniques to incorporate both design success stories & success metrics.
The Business impact of design: 5 best practices to adopt
Understanding your stakeholders, their goals, quantifying design impact on your business processes, and the team, picking metrics, learning and improving your communication are great challenges, indeed. Now, to cope with them & optimize your business, equip your professionals with the five best practices.
Best Design Practice #1. Understand your stakeholders.
It is applying design research methods to understand customers' goals & needs and is a visual tool for clarifying and categorizing various stakeholders. You determine who the stakeholders are, whose interests they represent, how powerful they are, whether they represent a constraining or supporting factor in achieving the business's objectives. Stakeholder mapping is a combined analysis, discussion & debate process that takes multiple perspectives to identify suitable partners/customers. To achieve ultimate success:
- Develop fluency in business communication.
- Ask more questions to immerse yourself in what matters/make sense
- Apply your research methods to figure out what drives business values
- Comprehend the variety of stakeholders’ cultural styles.
“When you become a designer manager or leader, you should prioritize your stakeholders, colleagues, orgs — not just the customer. Twenty percent of our time should be focused on business and engineering value.” (Ryan Rumsey, CEO, and founder at Second Wave Dive)
Example questions to ask:
Best Design Practice #2. Focus on goals first, then - on metrics.
To become obsessed with a metric is something quite common in business. Your goals should be measurable, and the results - real. This often yields no meaningful insights related to the objectives the company is trying to hit. It’s better to focus on the most critical goals before getting obsessed with how you achieve them. As a leader, such focusing requires you to give up trying to embrace immensity and focus on less. This way, your team can achieve more. To avoid a mess:
- Be disciplined about aligning on goals first.
- Answer the fundamental question: what are we trying to accomplish here?
- Choose metrics to gauge whether you’ve achieved the plan entirely.
Reduce costs (save the company money)
Improve a specific experience
Improve collaboration across organizational siloes
Best Design Practice #3. Understand what makes a good metric.
When quantifying design’s impact on your business, choose metrics that pass the “MET” test: meaningful, easy to understand, and tethered to business outcomes.
Something the business (not just the design team) cares about
Easy to understand
Straightforward and simple to explain (e.g., task success)
Demonstrably making money or saving money for the company
Best Practice #4. Ask for help – you’re not alone.
Do not forget that smart teams, to quantify design’s impact, always partner with those in the industry who have know-how in measurement and are armed with the best data, approaches, and support. Such design teams are more likely to:
- Learn from partnerships with data scientists & finance analysts.
- Learn from other disciplines too.
To ensure the business is sticking with the best practices only — continually deepen how you apply them & reinforce them among your teams.
Best Practice #5. Use design superpowers for bringing numbers to life.
“You need to appeal to both the head and the heart.”(Elizabeth Srail, a design leader)
Design teams are naturally better equipped to go beyond standard approaches in result reports. KPI dashboards are not a limit. To bring the story behind the numbers to life, they often have the design chops needed. Why is this so important? They empower them to create a story that is simple and powerful:
- They communicate results via storytelling.
- They bring results to life via perspective-shifting experiences.
These rewarding practices are especially useful for smart design teams that substantially measure the design and success of their design-centered company. Reinforce them continuously.
Good design makes it good for your business. Companies that are used to investing in design reap the benefits, get their UX improvements, and are prioritized to impact their strategic decision-making more efficiently. Why? –Simply because they adopt & reinforce the best design-centered practices for business to educate their teams, and learn from their experience for better leadership. You don’t need to look far for conclusive evidence. View our best design cases that incorporate the practices.
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