Have you seen the documentary Helvetica? It starts as a history of the font, then turns into a thought provoking discussion on graphic design.
Graphic design matters- it is the aesthetic.
- It sets the tone
- It turns utility into usability
- It is fashion sense
Look around. When you’re aware of good and bad graphic design you’ll notice:
- The way people dress
- Magazine layouts
- Signs on local businesses
Can you see graphic design (or lack of it) now?
Turn your attention to our domain, enterprise software. Graphic design seems an afterthought, limited to trim-work. Look at the solutions you present.* They are:
- online forms
- with rows and columns of fields, justified left and right
- and a “Save” button with cryptic messages about what we did wrong
Enterprise applications are going mobile. Decent graphic design is built into platforms (It’s pretty hard to screw up an iPad user interface).
In a world of free creative tools, anyone can take a picture, anyone can record an album, anyone can self-publish a book. In the hands of graphic design professionals, working alongside architectural and process designers, enterprise software can be inherently appealing and useful. Even beautiful.
Our audiences are sensitive to the aesthetic. It means usability, which means adoption which means return on investment which means value. Decision makers will choose the more pleasing option over the more functional if they can see themselves using the pleasing option.
Heck, look at the presentations of your solutions. We torture our audiences with PowerPoints of mind-numbing length and detail when we should be conveying a story, an emotion, an insight, a difference.