The 6 Biggest Design Mistakes Brands are Making Today
Design mistakes can be as simple as a bad font choice or as serious as a poorly crafted UX. Whether you’re following a trend that’s not right for your brand or failing to ask the critical questions about the user experience, design mistakes can cost you sales and customer relationships. We reached out to our community of creative and design thinkers to get fresh insights on the biggest mistakes brands are making in 2016 – and how to avoid them.
Choosing Flash Over Authenticity
“So many brands want to look and feel like Apple or other big names when they have nothing in common with those brands. The result is inauthenticity and a feeling of bait and switch. It’s kind of like angsty teenagers who spend hours getting the best angle for their selfie. It looks nothing like them in real life. Just like in real relationships, brands should value honesty and the ability to be real.” – Kristin Arbuckle, Art Director at 11Web
Too Many Priorities Cause Brands to Lose Their Way
“At the foundation of every brand there is purpose, an ideology, a rally cry or a rich history. It is important to break these philosophies down to their most simple visual form. I see so many incredible brands that are quite frankly either forgetting who they are or just being too complicated in their message. As designers, it’s our job to show our clients the way.” Marc Ferrino, Design Director, GSD&M
Over-Design without a Focus on the UX
“The biggest mistake I see is over-design. Far too many companies design their digital products to be visually stunning, yet completely unusable. The best way to correct this mistake is to think about why and how customers will use their digital product.” -Bill Albert, Executive Director, Bentley University User Experience Center
Radical Redesigns That Lose Brand Equity
“It’s awesome to see the rise of world-class design within companies and how they’re taking on more and more of the work that was handled by agencies. But, those agencies know well that brands are built over time and equity in your brand identity is not fungible. So, even if you’re not in love with your identity, be careful on how radically you change it and what it’ll cost you to build that equity back up again.” – Suzanne Pellican VP, Design Fellow at Intuit
Falling Into the Template Trap
“A templated website may seem awesome, but it likely fails to account for the consumer journey, important features for functionality, or decision-making steps. Even if a company offers “web services” dedicated to specific verticals, you may end up with a website which looks and functions just like your competitor’s – losing your chance to stand out and show your company’s voice. -Bryon Lomas, VP, Creative at Garfield Group
Not Adapting Creative to Different Channels
“One of the biggest mistakes we see brands making in design is not evolving their creative to fit changing marketing channels. With most businesses using social media as a marketing strategy, they are still sticking with design fundamentals that state a visual identity (for example) needs to be seen the same way whenever a consumer views it. Brands need to (carefully) break this rule. They need to design artwork that still is recognizable as the brand but simplified.” – Adam O’Leary, President, Encite Marketing
What are the biggest brand mistakes you’re seeing in 2016, and what solutions do you recommend to designers tackling these issues? Let us know in the comments below.