The Value of Design Thinking in Web Design

Creativity isn't a button on photoshop.

Let's start by getting a few things clear.

Your brand is the “why” you do things, the how and the what. A brand takes a long time to develop and have people believe in it. Look at Apple, or Starbucks, or even Tesla. They have all changed their industries, and they thought about what they were doing every step of the way.

This article won’t dive deeply into their brand, but rather into an extension of a brand; the website. Websites and branding are often synonymous. If you don’t know your brand, a website will do little to impact a business. However, if you have a great brand and no website, well, there is room for improvement in your marketing efforts. Overall, it is always important to think through your designs and how those designs will engage with your consumer base.

design thinking and branding

Did you know that 69% of design-led organizations firmly believe design thinking leads to more effective innovation processes? 

Well, now  you do……

Top-rated brands such as Apple and Google also use design thinking to stay ahead. Design thinking, in this case, refers to an iterative procedure meant to help you get the user, redefine challenges, and confront assumptions. It allows designers to come up with better alternative solutions to an existing problem using tactics that may not have been easy to come by with your original line of thoughts.

For example, when Google first started, its search engine was simple, very simple. Like two link buttons on a page simple. Why? Because other search engines were not designed for the end-user. Google knew that, and it frustrated them. They designed a better product, a better website and now……..well, they’re a pretty big deal.

With design thinking, your goal should always be to create a product that the user will want to use. For web design, it’s not just how it looks and feels. It is also how it works for the end-user.

What role does design thinking play in web design?

1.) It Allows You to Set Clear, Smart Goals

To become a great web designer, you need to understand your clients’ goals before you start working on any project. Design thinking helps you to do that. You need to know what you are trying to build, why you are doing it, and your target audience. This audience will give you all the information you need, but you need to ask the right questions. Delivering a high-quality website to your clients is the easy part. But delivering a truly amazing experience to their consumers, that takes more effort and attention. Remember that there is no fixed way to get there, and thinking out of “your” box is recommended.

 

Listen to the consumer, build for their needs and drive engagement on their level. Many businesses believe and understand this. If they do not, there is nothing wrong with that. You can only do so much. Just make sure you try to deliver the best solution for your client alongside the highest level of engagement for the end-user.

web design - think differently

2.) Birth More Innovative Ideas

As mentioned earlier, design thinking is best achieved when you welcome new and client-centric solutions to the problem at hand. It is easy to ask yourself whether the ideas you have will work effectively, and how the users are going to respond to them. But all those fears must be put to rest so that you can test a variety of prototypes and identify the best ones. In the process of doing so, you might even come up with creative solutions to problems you are yet to encounter. Innovation is a tricky thing. 

 

On one side, you get great ideas, and everyone becomes inspired. On the other end, innovation with no focus or driven results can be seen as unproductive. Find a process that works for you to narrow down your options and prototype the best ideas first. If your solution isn’t answered, try another idea until it does. Remember, innovation leads to answers, and there is more than one correct answer to a problem (especially in web design).

3.) Understand Your Audience Better

The application of design thinking in web design allows you to understand your clients better, which is the secret to any business success. When you listen to your audiences, find out what they need and deliver simply and effectively, those clients are far more likely to engage with you over a competitor who hasn’t listened. Think about it this way, if you go to buy a shirt in a store, ask the salesperson for help, and they pay you no attention, would you still want to buy the shirt? What if the salesperson was energetic, happy to help and got you different sizes if needed. Your engagement would surely help with the purchase, but you’d also be more inclined to return to the store based on your great experience.

 

The moment users feel that you get them and are interested in offering them true value, they will keep coming back. Just think of your Amazon Prime account. Albeit, Prime’s interface has gotten cumbersome over the years. Different clients have different needs, as such, accessibility should be a prerequisite to developing a website that offers a wide array of solutions to different people from all walks of life.

Remember to combine design thinking and accessibility when designing your website.

Follow the AODA and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards to ensure that your website is built for all audiences and users.

 

Certainly, hiring a web design company when you want to build a quality website is important. Just make sure you’re involved in the process and help throughout the early stages of site development. Creativity in design is common, but creativity and design thinking, that’s where the real magic starts to happen for a brand and especially for their website.

 

We are living in a time where customers not only expect products and services that fulfill their needs; they are also looking for experiences that are inclusive, easy to use and intuitive. No matter what kind of business you have, design thinking can be a powerful tool to help reach and engage with your clients.

 

Web design was our example, what’s yours?

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