Design Navigation for Entrepreneurs 2017

What’s all this racket about design these days? It’s noise from Social Media, it’s the clash-clang from better product design, and the explosion of technology. Maybe it’s noise, or maybe it’s just the new Rock ‘n Roll. To modern day entrepreneurs, maybe it is both. Either way, design is everywhere. It is time to embrace it. How does design affect a business person like yourself? It is the first impression clients see, and it allows them to draw conclusions about your business before even meetings you. So, how does an entrepreneur navigate through the sea of design?

Where is my compass?

Just like any good Sailor (or person who has seen Pirates of the Caribbean in the last decade) knows, navigation takes knowledge, skill and the proper tools. When it comes down to picking out a designer who will create your first impression, perhaps your logo-representing your entire brand, or your website there are two things to look for. Quality and Design. Why is it so important to have a catchy professional design? I’m sure you realize attracting your target audience the most efficient way to have successful experiences that leave your clients happy. No one likes to be sold a product or service that they don’t need or want. ‘Nough said.

LOOK OUT!

When looking for a designer, ask for a portfolio or their most recent work. The first thing to look for is structure. Is the spelling, grammar, and verbiage clear and correct? Does the work give off a vibe or a feeling that you feel is professional? If so, start to look at design.

Just because you want to hire a designer doesn’t mean you can skip out on knowing anything about design yourself. Author of the Non-Designers Design Book, Robin Williams, makes it easy to understand how to avoid any CRAP by using “crap”. Literally remember how to spell crap-C-R-A-P and you’ll be fine.

C.R.A.P is Williams’ acronym for good design strategy.

Contrast

Repetition

Alignment

Proximity

Crap Explained.

The most important take away here is what each letter stands for. Contrast means proper usage of color contrast, typography (fonts used, and word art), and images (big vs small). Repetition is looking for consistent usage of fonts, colors and images. Alignment is getting the information on the page in a visually appealing way. Proximity means keeping pertinent information together. Using CRAP is a quick, effective and easy method to remember when navigating through the sea of designers. Now let’s practice. Take Website design for example, find your favorite site and ask these questions:

Contrast?
What colors are used? How about font? Are there several fonts that look the same? Contrasting fonts make information catchy and easy to read.
Repetition?
Does this website look tied together with a common theme? Do things look “cool” but a little random? Do your eyes wander across the page looking for the information?
Alignment?
Does the length of the text stretch out so far across the page it is hard to read?
Proximity?
Are phones numbers, contact information and location together or random?

A good Website Design will guide your eyes through the site pages in an easy way to find information while offering visual appeal.

Select a Crew.

Now that you know the 4 basic design principles and are on the look out for a professional designer. It is time to hire the crew. These days designers can be students, “certified”, self-taught or bonafied college design graduates. Know your needs. Whether you are looking for one person or a team to support your needs check pricing and what is offered. Does the designer charge by the hour? Per month? Per piece? For example web design companies can also offered added security to a website that generic programs can’t offer. Selecting your crew is up to you.

Set sail…

No matter where you are in your journey of business entrepreneurship, you are ready to set sail and navigate through the sea of design and designers. Just remember look for quality, spelling, grammar, professionalism, feeling. And remember to keep your (C.R.A.P) compass at your side. Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity. May you enjoy success in navigating through design as an entrepreneur of 2017. Weigh anchor.