Why Design is Critical for Tech Companies

/ Jan 28th, 2015

By Massimo Zefferino, Designer+


While Steve Jobs may have not created the first mouse, it took his vision as a designer to make it work for human behaviour.

Design. Being an Umbrella term, the word ‘design’ is often completely misunderstood. Design is about making things better for people first and foremost. It’s focus should be on human behavior through interaction. 

Fun Fact: Xerox engineers were responsible for creating the first mouse! But they didn’t have the vision to see how it would work for people. It took a designer to make it work for human behaviour later creating the first mass marketed Personal Computer, the Macintosh.

Most companies initially struggle with cash, needing to disperse it across talent, hardware and growth. Design is often an afterthought that is often hastily developed throughout the process. While as of lately more attention is being paid to the importance of UX, it still often falls way-side to programming innovation. The importance of a well designed product, brand, marketing, website and UX can help with recruitment, vision, culture, credibility and even raising capital.

With giant brands like Apple, Google, and Target emphasizing the importance of design in products, services and experiences, customers expectations are increasing significantly. Form is more important than function in the initial stages of client acquisition. The best product or service won’t even be given a chance to prove itself if the quality of the brand or design isn’t embraced immediately.

Whether it’s for your brand, UX, marketing or your product or service, Investing in design is essential in the early stages of a company for several reasons.

Design focuses on your customer, not on your technology.
Designers by nature are tuned into people. Investing in design early on allows you to realize the impact your product or service has to people, and can cater your messaging, experience and company around that.

Users WILL judge your product immediately. 
In most cases, the quality of your programming isn’t even recognized if the messaging, quality of your design, or lack lustre website fails to convey the importance to the person who it’s targeted to. We are emotional beings - the design is the first thing they will react to.

Design differentiates you from your competition. 
Whether it’s by emphasising your unique selling proposition to the consumer, or simply by making your brand and website more professional and unique, investing in design will help separate your brand from your competitors.

Design helps you focus on creating a positive user experience. 
Regardless of how incredible your technology may be, if it isn’t intuitively designed for human interaction, easy to work with, navigate, understand it’s benefits, the user is likely to look at competitive offerings.

Good design attracts and retains eyeballs. 
Regardless if you are a startup or a well established tech company, investing in design will keep visitors returning to your website, investors interested in your presentations and progress, and will attract more attention from the media.

Regardless of how you define the term design, the fact remains that there is great value to investing early in human behaviour and understanding. Whether it’s in your elevator pitch, marketing materials or the user experience, always being aware of peoples emotions and behaviour will provide greater value and influence potential customers. Always be conscious that people buy from people. Incorporate design in all aspects of your company, not just your logo.