Lets face it, thoughtlessly churning out design is not likely to win you a D&AD award unless you hit on a moment of brilliance, in itself a hard to come by goal. It takes time, effort and thought to create a great piece of work – that means a well thought out brief, research, a shedload of concepts (even before you hit the screen) a great deal of experimentation and reviews from your stakeholders before you come close to something that has visual value. Rating and judging what is ‘good’ design is generally very subjective but there are principles to follow, for instance, ‘What is the story that piece of design is trying to reflect?’ or ‘What are you selling and who to?’ – design is far more than just making something look pretty for the hell of it, there needs to be substance to the design to make it viable.
These days speed is everything. Stakeholders who are inexperienced in the importance of the design process concentrate almost solely on post launch sales, with the thinking being that the quicker the job is done, the quicker the product is on shelf, however, rushing design means inferior quality and usually a lack of longevity.
Generally design agencies have the process nailed, they’ve been doing it for years and have a range of professionals all from the same industry with a wealth of knowledge and a hand full of account managers that can manage workload to get the best possible outcome for the client. Sadly, this story is generally very different when it comes to in-house design. In-house design is tricky, you’ll either land on a function that operates as an agency with great management, an ability to push back and think for the greater good of the product or you could land on an in-house function who are generally design to save money, knocking out designs double time with not much alignment or strategy and thus resulting in a poorly thought out final product.
A ‘good’ piece of design takes a lot of work. If you want a piece of design to work well then it’s not something that can be rushed in a couple of hours and simply churned out – there’s a reason why designers use a process and conceptualisation, it’s the core of all great outcomes.