Purpose Driven Design — How & Why?
The perspective on how purpose driven design can drive value that matters
During the past couple of years, as digital media grew rapidly, there has also been a huge influx of digital advertising agencies around the country. Till this day, their mantra of success is the ability to show tangible results in data for every rupee spent, which is somewhat still impossible when it comes to traditional advertising. Because of this data, results and performance are at the driving seat and the importance of good design has taken the back seat.
Additionally contributing to this rapid demise is the control from digital gurus that have let the algorithms decide on what a successful creative is, and neglected the ‘old world’ charm of good design that elevates the human spirit. That is, ideas which generate the ‘AHA!’ moment when consumed, are ideas that we are all envious over.
These types of good design and creative work are getting harder and harder to push through the journey of idea to execution. Hence there has been a steady rise of ‘koththu’ jobs or patch-up work because of the client’s ever-growing fear of losing money on impactful, ground breaking yet expensive work, and the constant pressure/guidance of the digital marketing teams to spend every cent on results rather than on work that elevates the brand.
As algorithms are becoming smarter and all the digital platforms are trying hard to monetize every little aspect of their experience, we should put our every effort to find the harmonious relationship in great design, performance and purpose to make design relevant in the modern times. Thus purposeful, performance-based design is a must in a modern business landscape.
the design solution is genuinely based on the end user and backed by thorough research and testing, the effectiveness of the solution can be qualitatively justified. It may not be concrete as the data from Google Analytics, but this will be a feasible way to keep the creative ideas executed without getting shot down by cost- conscious parties.
Purpose driven design — Empathy and Context
Purpose driven design should always start with a clear objective in mind and it should keep the end user in its focus. Some of the objectives can be verbally expressed, but there may be certain requirements that should be discovered through further discussion and personal intuition. Continuous idea bounce-off sessions, product/service experience tours and pilot visits are crucial for this. The user journeys and touch points are also vital to understand how the brand meets its consumers and what experience it creates. The effectiveness of the solution depends upon the understanding of the end user. This is true to both tangible deliverables such as hotel amenities and to experiential digital outputs such as app designs. After the initial concepts are developed, the testing should happen in situations similar to real life user cases, to gauge the impact and further development. Upon deploying the solution, the post evaluation is also critical to understand any gaps that needs corrective measures.
Medium, Format vs Performance
Regardless of the medium or the format, if the design solution is genuinely based on the end user and backed by thorough research and testing, the effectiveness of the solution can be qualitatively justified. It may not be concrete as the data from Google Analytics, but this will be a feasible way to keep the creative ideas executed without getting shot down by cost- conscious parties.
Side note — Human centric design and consumer insight
The consumer insight which is the corner stone of any successful traditional advertising campaign can be alternatively described as an offshoot of now popular human centric design principles. Creating an executable idea from an insight that is relevant to the people, the society and the culture paves the way for the executions to be more grounded and closer to the hearts of the people. This is exactly the base on human centric design where problem solving is user based. After recognizing that fact, the real challenge is to develop the insight in a way that the purpose will not be lost in any stage of the creative process and performance of the design can be articulated in a justifiable manner.
Written by Dinesh Ravindra Gunaratne and first appeared on medium.com