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How to Advocate for Design Among Non-Designers

Most companies don’t utilize design to their full advantage. Whether you are the solo designer in your company or feel overshadowed by non-design peers in making design decisions, here’s how and why good design equals good business.

The Good News

UX is no longer a completely new topic. While designers may still be thought of as those who make content simply “look pretty”, user experience is gaining a good reputation as the key attribute for making companies stand out from the crowd. With a multitude of successful examples of design-driven companies like Airbnb, Apple, Nike, Facebook or design-led startups like Pinterest and Path, design-driven culture has led to innovation and great products. 

The Bad News

Many designers are still limited in their roles in the atmosphere of their work culture and non-design peers. Most non-designers rarely consider the user experience; they are too busy focused on fixing their individual issues, or meeting deadlines, rather than looking at the product as a whole. This leads to cutting corners with UX. 

What Now?

This means that designers must advocate for their role and for the value of good design. Here’s how:

Find Mentors and Sponsors

Designers must find mentors and sponsors at every tier of the company, but particularly leadership who realize the impact of good design on business metrics. 

Demonstrate Design as a Multiplier 

In an analysis by the Design Management Institute, a Boston-based nonprofit focused on design management, in the past decade, design-driven companies outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500–a stock market index of 500 large publicly traded companies–by 228%. These numbers show that design-led companies have a significant advantage. 

Differentiate

Not only does design increase the beauty and efficiency of your product, good design impacts your brand, which helps differentiate your product in a sea of competitors. It’s simple: what’s good for users is good for your bottom line.

Your Turn

We’d love to hear how you tackle this issue! Is your design voice heard in the workplace? Have you managed to demonstrate to your non-design peers that design holds a crucial role in your company? Let us know in the comments.