The Value of Design

Taj Mahal Sunrise

What is the value of the the Taj Mahal? Every day thousands of people flock there to see this beautiful palace built in the 1600’s. It brings people from all over the world to buy hotels and try different experiences that fuel their economy.

How much money is spent because of this beautiful design?

Good design grabs grabs your attention.
Good design makes you feel something.
Good design increases the perception and value of the product or service.

But it wasn’t always like that in our culture.

In the early 1900’s design was all about functionality and durability. It was the beginning of mass production. It wasn’t about what the product looked like or how it made you feel but rather what it actually did for you.

But what happens when everyone has bought a car or a toaster or a hair dryer?
People can’t just stop buying. What would that mean for the economy?

So we had to show people that the stuff we buy is just not good enough. That you can get a better one, a lighter one, a cheaper one, a more specific one or a more responsive one. Psychologist working alongside marketers highlighted to the population the frustrations with the original products. One pair of shoes wasn’t enough. One car was not enough. A small house wasn’t enough (and we wonder why we never feel like we are enough …but that’s a different post). They created a new vision for America built on the ever changing world of fashion. Hollywood then marketed it to the world and here we are today completely immersed in design.

Today design is crucial to all businesses but for most business owners it’s hard to justify the cost. To explain to the CFO why you need to use a special paint that is three times the price of the regular paint. But now more than ever we live in the world of perception and businesses that are putting design first are leading the way and the one’s that aren’t are going out of business. Steve Jobs once said to Bill Gates on stage when asked to compare IBM to Apple he said “We just have better taste.” If you want to grow, you need to start paying attention to design.

Also published on Medium.

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