You’ve no doubt spent painstaking hours evaluating your business objectives and trying to determine what price your customers might be willing to pay for your product. While businesses often perceive value in terms of the features developed at the engineering level, innovative companies understand that the role design plays in the development of a product is equally (if not more) important for long-term sales and customer acquisition success.

Creating new lines of minimum viable products (MVPs) won’t help you stay competitive as digital transformation saturates the market with new ways to “get things done.” Instead, you need to move beyond the MVPs and start creating MLPs (minimum lovable products).

If you want to create lovable products, design has to be at the core of your process—and here’s why.

Products Solve Problems—Thoughtfully Designed products improve lives

While it’s easy to see and appreciate beautiful design in the latest sexy consumer app, it’s just as easy to dismiss the value and impact design plays when you’re developing a product that helps people get work done. However, design should be an integral part of how your new product solves problems because of its ability to incite emotion and convey your business personality.

When you’re developing a product that incites emotion, you’re really talking about two components—a sense of security as well as emotion that can differentiate your product from the crowd. Users want to feel validated by your product (for example, a to-do list app) and know that they’ve chosen the right option.

However, when you’re talking about something as simple as a to-do list, you might wonder how you can incite emotions that differentiate the product. With over 80% of consumers deleting mobile apps after just one use, inciting these emotions is critical to business success.

Todoist is a to-do list app that has taken the mundane category and turned it into something delightful by streamlining users’ lives with the help of beautiful product design. Todoist understands that developing new products isn’t just about delivering features—anyone can make a to-do list app that actually makes to-do lists. Rather, thoughtful design keeps users coming back and eventually pushes them to evangelize the product. Free eBook: Designing for Business Outcomes

In addition to inciting emotion from users, a design-focused product is able to convey your business personality in ways that feature-focused products cannot. Many of the most well-established companies don’t have answers to questions regarding their personality and how customers perceive them. However, taking the tone and voice of the company into consideration throughout the design process can help your product resonate with users.

Inciting emotion and conveying your true business personality should be immediate goals for any new product; but design also contributes to long-term business goals. As digital markets become increasingly competitive, using design to build delightful user experiences will be essential to reaching your revenue-based goals.

How User Experience Dictates the Value of Design—The Nest Example

Design contributes to the development of MLPs by creating consistent user experiences that improve customer acquisition and pushes your margins to new levels. Nest is a prime example of the importance of design in business.

There’s nothing inherently exciting about thermostats that would typically incite emotion from customers. However, Nest has found a way to charge upwards of $300 for something users could buy for maybe $30. They key is design that delights users.

Even though Nest allows you to control your air conditioning or heat from your mobile devices, its features would not command a price point 10 times (or even 30 times) greater than competitors. Instead, Nest offers beautiful design that creates a user experience that dominates the product category. The user experience is what commands a $300 price point because without such thoughtfully designed features, Nest would just be another thermostat.

Starting your product development with design in mind will give you sustainability that is critical in the digital business world. Other products may be more feature rich to start, but a strong user experience gives you a great framework for iterative innovation. The goal here is to take a potentially painful process and make it tolerable (and even delightful)—and design makes this possible.

Strong Design Principles Should Spread Throughout Your Organization

The basic answer to our initial question—why is design so important to your business—is simple: the value of design is money. There are so many products that can solve hyper-specific customer problems, but few of them will ever stand out. For example, the heavily-saturated market for web automation has a clear leader in Zapier and a well-designed user experience that delights customers is the key reason for its success.

Why is design so important to your business? It is simple: the value of design is money. Tweet this...

This higher-level view of product design’s role in business contributes to a much deeper discussion of how companies can truly become innovative. If you want to learn more about how putting design at the forefront of your operations can lead to business success, download our latest free eBook, Designing for Business Outcomes.

Click to Comment