You can use design in your business in many ways. Design covers much more than just the visible appearance of products, or the graphic elements of things such as your website, packaging and marketing materials. It plays a part in nearly every aspect of what most businesses do.
The role of design in business
Businesses use many types of design, including:
- product design
- ergonomic design
- engineering design
- graphic design (eg for manuals, marketing literature, signage and software interfaces)
- packaging design
- website and interface design
- retail design
- interior design and fit-outs
- exhibition design
- architecture (eg for refurbishments and building modifications)
In some areas, the importance of design is obvious. For example, when a business creates a consistent look across its products, signage, stationery and marketing activities.
However, you should realise that design isn't just about managing the appearance of your business. It's also about managing your business processes so that they're as cost-effective as possible.
Benefits of a design audit
It may be a good idea to conduct a design audit. In an audit, you should look at all the different elements that your company uses to interact with its customers and the public.
Examine the key areas of your business, such as:
- your brand
- your product and service development
- your work practices
- customer communication
Consider each area thoroughly to understand what role design plays in them. See more on the design audit.
There may be opportunities to use design to make your business more efficient or sustainable, and to add value to your products and services for your customers.
You can also complete our Get design ready tool to improve your understanding of design and its role in developing successful products, services and businesses.