Anyone who says, “I love the design of our literature/website/packaging, but we aren’t selling anything,” most likely has a design problem. We were citiquing some design work from a northern Colorado design company recently and we were struck by the lack of substance the piece had. The reason this was so surprising was because the brochure was beautiful on the surface. It had lots of white space. It used metallic ink. The typography was careful and elegant. Expensive stock photography covered entire pages. From a purely visual perspective it did everything right. But the piece was a failure because you couldn’t tell what the brochure was about. The same design could have been applied to a dentist, a staffing company, or a law firm.

The most important part of design is making something that works. If something isn’t effective it doesn’t matter how beautiful it is. The trouble is that it is relatively easy to be fooled into thinking that because something looks good that it is actually effective. Here are some questions to consider as you evaluate the effectiveness of a design:

1. Could the same design be applied to another industry?
If the photos and headlines could just as easily be applied to a dentist, a staffing company, or a law firm then the design will not be effective. Good design will be customized to your needs creating something that is inseparable from your company.

2. What can you tell about the design from a glance?
Designers like to use the word hierarchy. If something has hierarchy the most important element will have the most prominence. If a single message or idea isn’t perceptible at a glance then the design can probably be improved.

3. Is the design impacting your sales?
Tracking the results of a design is a good indicator of whether or not the design is effective. If a sales brochure isn’t making sales, the design could be wrong. If people are spending less than a minute on your site, the design could be improved. Good design will almost always have an effect on sales.

If you have concluded that the design of your materials needs improvement the next step is to pinpoint where the problem. This is where Red Rocket can help you. Give us a call and let us help you evaluate your website/brochure/branding. We will make a plan for you that will give you measurable results.