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2019-02-18

Less is More: Standing out for the right reasons

“If you look at everything Apple does, it’s constantly reducing the steps” - John Sculley, Apple CEO from 1983-1993
2019 will see a proliferation of beautiful, minimalistic digital interfaces. It bears considering how they will affect your customer experience, the possible impact on profit, and how you can harness the benefits for your own brand.

The cost of complexity
Bad design has financial consequences. Complexity is often the culprit. In December 2018, a £113m website commissioned by Capita, which had outsourced the British Army’s recruiting function, was partly blamed for missed targets. The website received 13,000 fewer applications over 6 months compared to the same period in the previous year.
“Both the Army and Capita believe the length of the process is a significant factor. The project will not achieve its planned savings of £267m for the MoD.”
Bad UX = Bad business
A prime example of this is the re-brand of The British Academy by Only Studio. They have stripped it back and have made it culturally relevant
The British Academy Rebrand
British academy website

Similarly, Dunkin Donuts – ‘the world’s biggest baked good and coffee chain’ dropped the ‘donuts’ part of it’s name. This new identity change (designed by Jones Knowles Ritchie) is definitely risky for a brand so well-known and thus re-emphasises that there is a demand for simplification.
Dunkin Donuts logo
Dunkin Donuts slogan

You have 17 milliseconds to impress
A 2012 Google study revealed that very complex websites triggered the ‘worst’ first impressions. This is why agencies are upping the stakes by employing teams of creatives to uphold the creative:
“Interface designers, app-makers and social media firms employ armies of designers to keep people coming back… The now ubiquitous “pull-to-refresh” feature… has turned smartphones into slot machines.”

The marcomms industry response has been swift. The Gartner CMO Survey 2018 showed greater investment in high-quality, precision marketing. Over 14% of brand budgets – and more in media-heavy industries such as retail – have been dedicated to personalization efforts. Marketing technology spending also increased by 31% in the last year.
Gartner CMO survey 2018
In this “post-attention economy” – complex design is dangerous. Not only does your consumer enjoy an embarrassment of comparable goods and services from lookalike brands. They are also courted, behind the scenes, by data-smart design teams, prepared to do homage to their self-consciously limited time and patience, with ever simpler, ever more beautiful digital experiences. In this climate, failing to incorporate minimalism into your digital interfaces is one sure-fire way to blunt your competitive edge.

Design Boom
Boardroom creatives are still a slightly uncomfortable concept for large corporations, but the sums of investment now flowing through design departments have become too big to ignore. By the end of 2019, worldwide spending on digital transformation will have risen to $1.7 trillion – a 42% increase in only two years.

‘The New Design Frontier’ report by InVision is “The widest-ranging report to date examining design’s impact on business”. This report examines the correlation between the adoption of design and business profitability and growth. Is the screen becoming the most important touchpoint on earth? Well, this report interrogates the direct relationship between high-performing businesses and the employment of talented design teams.
InVision DesignBetter report

You may be asking yourself: if Customer service becomes digital-only will robots finally conquer the workplace? According to a study called ‘The Augmented Human Enterprise’ by Goldsmith’s University human/bot collaboration will in fact increase well-being, creating more productive environments in which professionals and intelligent machines work side-by-side in order to accomplish greater efficiencies.

Richard is an experienced Design Director with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Digital Strategy, User Experience, Advertising, Branding & Identity, and Typography. Strong arts and design professional with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) focused in Industrial Design from Brunel University.

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