six steps to challenge the way you think about design: step two

The Next thing to think about is how people will interact with our work. This is where Marketing and research becomes vital: how to target our audience and how to track the success for our designs. Successful design is always greener, as we figure out the economical impacts of what saves money and what is effective with our audience; this allows us to use less materials and less money and help both the environment and our clients or our companies pocket.

So how do we go about finding successful design at the user interaction level? Well, first we have to understand who our user is for the particular project. Identifying their needs, and exactly the point that they wish to get across. The ultimate goal is to create an experience that is as simple, easy to use, and memorable. To create the best user experience, especially for a web experience, it is good to test it. Find someone who has no idea what your working on and have them use your site or product/packaging and observe how they go about exploring your design. Ask them if they had any struggles handling the work or figuring out where to find a particular element on a website. Observe how they handle the functionality and styling of the package design or website.  Also for print design, think out side the box on what materials could be used in an way that is good for environment, economical, and something special that will become a memorable experience for the user. Check out these links for examples.

Pangea Organics

Burgerville Sustainable Packaging

How can use marketing research to best target our audience? For successful targeting, we as designers need to think about the audience and the project both existing on the same platform. This means knowing your audience like their age, place they geographically live, gender, values, economical status/purchasing habits etc. and use that knowledge in your design. This personalization to your audience is far more effective than trying to target every type of person with one single design. Even if your audience is very broad, it is important to design for each group. For example if you are a company who offers memberships and then offers multiple advantages to your members you should tailor each newsletter, or promotional items to people who are already members, and to people who you want to become members, and break those groups down further. The results of your customers feedback will be much higher. Here is an example of great user interaction with a glimpse of how this product is being tested.

Rolling Words: Snoop Dogs Smokable Book

Finally, after we have conducted research at the user interaction level and target marketing groups, how do we collect our feedback and results as a designer?  We should be active in asking for the results of our work from the marketing and communications team. The more we know about the results of our work the better we can improve our designs for a higher profit value for our companies or for our clients.