As designers, it is fairly easy for us to get wrapped up in all of the bells and whistles in whatever it is we’re designing. It’s habitual for designers, web designers in particular, to want to tap into their creative side and add what would be considered excess, or “fluff.”
Do I really need to add that background image of a puppy? Is that neon green call-to-action section really necessary? One thing designers need to keep in mind is that their role is to communicate an idea or message in a visually and aesthetically-pleasing way, without all of the fluff.
As cliché of a saying it is, “design is everywhere.” From the shoes you’re wearing, to the chair you’re sitting on, to the device you’re reading this article on, a designer was responsible for making it all happen. What I’ve learned so far while working in an agency is that design plays a fairly significant role in a company’s marketing efforts.
Proposals & Presentations
First impressions matter (a lot)
In an industry where first impressions can weigh a ton, it is critical to ensure that anything you’re using as part of your “pitch” to potential clients looks as professional and presentable as possible.
Think of these proposals, PowerPoints, or “decks” like the first time you meet the parents of the person you’ve been dating. You want to make sure that you look good and that you make a good first impression.
A couple tips on designing a pitch deck:
Avoid TLDR-ing your slides – For those who don’t know, TLDR stands for “too long, didn’t read.” People don’t like being bogged down by a slide where 90% of it consists of words, because then your audience will either a) lose focus, or b) not fully grasp what they just read due to information overload.
Related: Empathy – The Key to Great Design
Break it down for your audience by dividing a long paragraph into a few sections. Or provide them with only brief, necessary information by using bullet points. And there’s nothing wrong with adding more slides to one topic, rather than cramming everything you want to say onto one slide.
Pictures are your friend – Photos, graphs, icons, illustrations, and even gifs can all aid in making your presentation a bit more digestible. They can help illustrate your point. However, know that there is a fine line between using images to complement your presentation and completely overdoing it with those Crying Jordan memes.
These two slides were all taken from a minimalistic pitch deck designed by Evgeny Bagro. The reason why these slides work is because there’s a hierarchy in terms of what the viewer pays attention to first. The images and shapes first draw your attention, followed by the text. And although the images may dominate the page, neither is visually overpowering and overdone compared to the other.
Your work speaks for itself
The term “content creation” encompasses a broader range of things, so I’ll narrow this down to the more design-related items under the umbrella. This includes email templates, blog images, e-books, videos, logos, icons, and other graphics.
When you’re creating any of the items just mentioned, whether it’s for a client, your company, or even yourself, remember that it’s your duty as the designer to communicate what needs to be said as effectively and eye-catchingly as possible.
UXPin does a great job with the designs of their e-books. They take a minimalistic approach where the titles are clear and concise with some type of geometric or abstract graphic to complement.
For the past decade or so, social media has become the basis for how we share, interact, and collaborate with the masses online. Social media is also an excellent marketing tool companies utilize to connect with their audience. It is a multidimensional platform for promoting themselves.
Because of social media’s omnipresence in our daily lives, it’s vital for companies to consider how their brand is being portrayed across all channels—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. When it comes to digital marketing, the saying “do it for the ‘gram” can hold some significant truth to a company’s social media success.
When it comes to these two Facebook ad images, in terms of design, I would argue that the ad on the right is far more effective than the ad on the left. In comparing the two images, the featured image is fairly generic and honestly, not intriguing at all. The image on the right, however, is a lot more thoughtful in its design and composition.
It has bold, supporting text saying “free trial” to grab the viewer’s attention, and also uses a relevant image to support the promotion and brand.
How do you stand out from the crowd?
A well-designed and well-executed marketing campaign can bolster your rank among the competition. Campaigns that are distinct, engaging, and catered to the target audience would generate the brand awareness your company may need and can create customers that keep coming back to your brand.
Related: Top Practices in UI/UX Design
For most companies, your website is probably the most vital marketing tool in your arsenal. For companies selling their products or services online, it’s where your customers and potential clients flock to when they want to make that purchase. For some, this IS that first impression, and possibly THE deciding factor. It only makes sense that the way your site looks and how users interact with it be as seamless and visually-pleasing as possible.
Not only has Fitbit positioned themselves as one of the industry leaders in wearable technology, but their website does a great job at enforcing it as well. The execution of the site’s design is well done, as there’s a good balance of being very visual with images and text while still remaining very intuitive for users.
When it comes down to it, looks matter. In our industry, almost everything you use to support your digital marketing has a visual component to it. Whether it’s a pitch deck, Facebook ad, promotional video, or landing page, whatever you design for your marketing efforts can either make or break conversions or potential clients.