Design as Strategy early on

We all are familiar with the concept of corporate strategy. No? It is a traditional method of identifying, planning, and achieving goals by a corporate firm. As mentioned, it is a traditional process of planning.

When it comes to modern methods, Design strategy comes into the picture. Design strategy is a simply providing solution-based approach and solving problems by engaging the end-users. So, Design strategy focuses on end-users while corporate strategy focuses on the firm. And obviously, any UX designing firm like f1studioz wants to focus on end-user solutions.

Human-Centered Design — HCD

Design strategy when seen through end-users eyes is technically called “Human-Centered Design” shortly known as HCD. Of course, here human refers to the user. But, simply coming up with a strategy is not enough. We need to put our thoughts into action. For that, we need a strategic thinking mindset that helps to implement our strategy through a roadmap or a framework or anything that helps us in the implementation.

So, What is Strategic Design Thinking?

Creating and designing a strategy is an art. Just like design, it can also be improved with time and practice. There are many ways through which one can design a strategy but we like to sum it up 5 typical steps.

  • Assess: Assessing the project is the first step towards design thinking. Strategies are drawn following a proper analysis. This results in knowing the customer requirements, constraints, opportunities, etc.
  • Understanding: Understand the project, requirements in the terms of business and design goals. If you spend 20 minutes collecting data, spend 40 minutes understanding it. Look for any connections, effects within the data.
  • Learn: Start designing the strategy and plan small tasks that directly profit the final task. Here, you learn a lot about the project, the relationships between the variables, constants.
  • Execute: Now this is the simple step of all. Of course, start working with the entire team. Tick-Tock.
  • Check: As the tasks are accomplished, always check whether the goals are reached or not. Question yourself “If I were the customer, would I be satisfied with the output?” If yes, then you are ready to go.

These prerequisites are must-haves for any strategic design decision. Now, that we have discussed the prerequisites of the design strategy, there is more to discuss on. Devil is in the details and let’s talk about it.

Design strategy is nothing more than the long-term plan of how to use your design to achieve your company goals. It might be reaching a particular statistical number or impressing your customer. Everything is designed and implemented in a strategic manner.

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In a corporate firm, everything needs to be formalized. At least, the process needs to be formalized. The design strategy has no exemption. A typical strategy should have necessary information such as-

  • Target Audience: Unless there is a piece of clear information on the user personas, there is no point in shaping a strategy. To make sure your design reaches a particular group of audience it is better to always have this information in your head. And therefore create a strategy that is as better as it gets targeting a relevant audience.
  • Business Objectives: Business objectives refer to everything that could possibly affect the design decision. Keep the firm’s statistical targets in mind and strategize accordingly. This could also include the firm’s vision and mission.
  • Branding: Not to forget the most important factor, branding guidelines. Do not forget to outline your core brand elements in your design. If a design doesn’t follow the branding criteria, it loses meaning in the first place.
  • Showcase your value: Your customers should actually know your value. They should know what difference your design can make. And the positioning of how your services are going to impact them should be on the mark. No underpromises or vice-versa.

“Ideation without execution is a delusion”

— Robin Sharma

Just like a building without a foundation, execution without a well-versed strategy is a waste of time. So make sure your strategy runs on wheels without any interruptions. That will make the perfect Design Strategy.

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