Design (di’zIn): to plan or outline in general; determine upon and mark out the principal features or parts of, as a projected thing or act; plan; devise.
Good design: the elegant implementation of purpose.
The application of purpose and principles results in design.
Design is foundational. Everything around us is designed, and design decisions impact every part of our lives — our work environment, our homes, travel, leisure, even the way we open a jar of pickles. When things work, design is taken for granted, most people are not even aware of it. But, as Bill Moggridge (founder of international consultancy IDEO) says, “A lot of trial and error goes into making things look effortless.”
Putting an emphasis on design (and therefore, purpose, principles and planning) brings creativity into an organization and increases the opportunity for developing and planning market-leading products and/or services. As the sophistication of the consumer and global competition increases, planning and design become increasingly valuable.
Businesses can no longer compete just by slashing prices or increasing their marketing budgets. Innovation in the form of design provides a better, long-range way to succeed. Strategic planning is essential if the forces of creativity are going to actually produce something viable.
Because design is holistic or all-inclusive, it takes a principle role in the areas of presentation — advertising, marketing, and related collateral and activities. Design (good or bad, positive or negative) is always communicated wherever a business or organization touches the public. At those points people are able to see or feel (perceive, sometimes at a semi-conscious level) the values that drive the organization. If they share those values, they “connect,” and if not, they don’t.
Thus, an organization’s website provides a uniquely clear presentation of organizational design, in as much as design suggests purpose and principles. Design — because it involves purpose, principles and planning — requires more time and resources on the front end, but more than makes up for it on the back end.