Many organizations have too fractured of a design process and would benefit from a more holistic approach. Author Andrew Barraclough over at the Drum provides helpful illumination on this point, explaining “why brands must unify their business fiefdoms into design kingdoms.”

Barraclough identifies two primary issues he has witnessed that inhibit marketers from creating “meaningful designs.” The first is “a misunderstanding of the breadth of design and what it can deliver today.” Second, there is often a “failure to adequately leverage design at the strategic level, which often leads to siloed departments and a disconnected brand experience for consumers.”

A Holistic Approach to Design

Design “is much less a fishhook trying to do one simple job, and more like Velcro – lots of little hooks all adding up to one great net effect,” says Barraclough.

He remarks:

[T]he way traditional businesses are set up can generate siloed departments—little fiefdoms that lead to individualistic thinking and inconsistent results. Departments end up not working together as they should, which does not reflect how consumers act, think or feel… If any part of the brand experience is disconnected from the rest, there is a risk that consumers will be turned off from a product that may help them… 

Elements of Good Design

What are some elements of good design? Here is what Barraclough thinks is key: 

  • Good design colours outside the lines by utilising strategic design-thinking to blur the edges between functions, disciplines, media channels – and more.
  • Good design joins up dots through all departments, acting as the glue that binds all business functions into a seamless experience – internally and externally this is Design Linking.
  • Good design is creatively agnostic, unworried by shares, likes or gross rating points, and obsessed about the consumer above all else.
  • Good design generates powerful brand conversations that consumers can relate to when and wherever they bump into the brand in their non-siloed experience of their own reality.

We hope you find these tips helpful to you in all your design endeavors!