As Vietnam enters into a new golden age of design, good design has never been more important to the success of a business as it opens up valuable opportunities and brings significant business benefits. Today’s business focus is on user experience (UX), and for any interface design to be effective at delivering business objectives, it must also address UX. In the 2020 report of Adobe's state of Create, 81% of training sessions recently focused more on expanding creative skills in terms of interactive design and web UI/UX.
In fact, a study conducted every 10 years showed that design-led companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola, IBM, Nike, and P&G have outperformed their S&P 500 by an extraordinary 211% (Design Management Institute, 2015). Many companies and start-ups in Vietnam have also followed that trend and experienced initial successes. But is it valuable? Are there compelling business reasons to prioritize design? Does it have a measurable positive impact on the bottom line? In this blog, we will give you an in-depth analysis of how good design helps businesses grow in Vietnam.
Why Design Matters & How It Generates Growth?
1. Design is the foundation of a brand
As hard as it might be to accept, sometimes superior marketing and a great launch can overshadow the actual attractiveness (and usefulness) of a product. And certainly, it’s important to put enough emphasis on marketing, launching, and selling a product, but the true test of a brand is in its design and how useful it is for the user. That’s where the important details and features of a product or service will truly shine. A great ad is one thing. A truly attractive and useful design is another. Marketing schemes come and go, but a great design lasts much longer and helps increase the stickiness of the users.
2. Design authenticates a company
A great design can set a company up for more success further down the line. Building trust with the consumer, and with investors, is the first step in a long-term relationship, and nothing seals that trust more than a well-designed experience that meets their needs. Think of it as the best first impression a business could possibly make, whether they have simply created a prototype to begin to attract financial interest or they are making hundreds to ship out to the marketplace. As surveyed in 2020, 21% of Vietnamese respondents stated that the website design and user experience was a factor influencing their online purchases (Statista 2021).
A great design is the best foot forward in both those arenas.
3. Design can make any product, service, and experience better
In essence, highly successful companies have realized that the boundaries between products, services, and environments have blurred. As well as, they know that they need an integrated view to design end-to-end experiences that are truly valuable to consumers and successful in the market. It’s not just about designing the best product or service but rather about striking the right combination and making sure the integrated customer experience is compelling. This kind of successful, convergence-designed strategy can deliver a durable competitive advantage. For instance, we at Lollypop Design Studio take our time to design every aspect of the business — recruiting, customer services, sales, marketing, operations, product, etc based on data and insights from customers, people within the company & we experiment with processes, and try new things.
A Great Example That Good Design Can Drive Growth
As the #1 leading e-commerce website in Vietnam, Shopee is a key contributor to the country’s digital economy with a firm commitment to helping brands and entrepreneurs succeed in e-commerce. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Shopee's number of monthly visitors amounted to approximately 68.6 million. Shopee’s leading success has proven that user-friendly design plays a crucial role in grasping attention and generating sales.
In Shopee Design's recent webinar, Shopee shared the 4 important elements to develop a cohesive design language system that focuses on user experience & interface design:
- Establish the right team- Having the right people with the same goal is extremely important when it comes to efficient implementation.
- Respect existing design - Be aware of breaking the designs users are accustomed to, instead, align the new ones with their existing habits.
- Prioritize usability- Primarily, a good user experience should be prioritized, not consistency or creativity.
- Adopt a service mindset- The key to an outstanding design system is staying humble and thinking from the perspectives of new designers who are not familiar with the products.
Ultimately, building a design system is, indeed, a learning journey. Designers have to encounter some challenges including having to balance a design & product’s functionality, staying relevant while being unique, or giving room for a holistic perspective but making a true advancement, etc. By having a deep understanding of design thinking and its business value, designers can definitely thrive on challenges and achieve better results.
What is Design Thinking and Its Business Value
According to Don Norman, the father of modern UX, design-thinking can be applied to many different areas by considering whether consumers are being made happy on multiple levels. The three levels of design-thinking are:
- Visceral: Is this creating an instant positive first impression?
- Behavioral: Is this experience intuitive and pleasurable?
- Reflective: What larger meaning/message/story is being conveyed?
While calculating the ROI of design efforts is difficult, some organizations have attempted to measure by analyzing the net effects that a design has on the overall profitability of a company. Thus, changes in performance can be easily compared to previous workflows.
Therefore, design thinking doesn’t guarantee better products or solutions. Instead, it drives experimentation, data gathering, and analysis, and empowers designers to view their daily challenges in new ways. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey & Co, more than 300 companies from different industries that adopted a design-driven approach have outperformed their peers by far. The results are promising. Moving from the “standard” model to one following user-centered design processes is a smart way to invigorate any organization to be faster, more organized, and more creative—all of which in turn drives a greater return on investment.
The value of user experience as a result of design thinking is especially compelling when comparing a user experience project to another investment with similar business goals. There were countless e-commerce sites before Shopee came into the scene. There were taxis before Grab and social networks before Facebook. There were plenty of electronic stores before Dienmayxanh, retailers before LotteMart, and multiple car brands before Vinfast. All of these companies share one thing. It is their relentless focus on the customer and delivering the best user experience possible—which is deeply rooted in their design thinking methodology.