Good Design Is Good Business

by Brandie Knox on September 22, 2013

Knox, BrandieQuoted from IBM legend Thomas Watson, Jr., American businessman and 2nd president of IBM; called one of the “100 most influential people of the 20th century”

Now more than ever your prospects and clients expect good design. It’s true that your firm is sought for its experience and achievements, but as a prospect I have many options to choose from.

Be innovative. Your firm’s attorneys are innovative thinkers. We live in an age of innovation. Entire companies have been transformed by design and design thinking. We expect quality content and a positive user experience. We seek out thought-leaders. Your attorneys solve clients’ problems by thinking outside-the-box and coming up with creative solutions – your materials should communicate that. Show don’t tell. When I visit your site or pick up a brochure in your firm’s reception area, I should immediately understand that your firm gets it.

Make it visual. Whatever it is. We are visual people and visual cues stick with us longer than words, enabling us to scan a website or print collateral and take away the essence. By visuals here, I don’t mean random stock photography and superfluous graphics. Here are a few examples that can add value to your firm’s communications:

  • Type as image – typography that draws the reader in and holds their attention. This could be in the form of a graphic designed using letterforms, or simple elements such as the use of call-outs or sidebars.
  • Information graphics – diagrams, charts, tables. Information graphics allow us to visually make comparisons and/or easily digest information that would be much more difficult to do in narrative form.
  • Typographic hierarchy – visual elements that emphasize aspects of your content. When possible, use bulleted lists instead of paragraphs, and use graphic treatments, color or scale to emphasize information that is more relevant.

Make it memorable. Design helps differentiate your firm amongst your competitors. Competition has increased – perhaps everyone knew who you were 30 years ago. Today, you are one among many. How do you stand out? As a prospect, why choose your firm over another? This can be quite a conundrum as most successful law firms can solve a client’s issue. So, what makes you different or memorable? What makes you a thought-leader? Deliver a compelling message and cut through the clutter with a well-developed content strategy and brand identity. As users, our expectations are high, our attention spans short.

Ensure a positive experience. A positive user experience effects every aspect of your business, from how a client interacts with the receptionist on the phone, to how a prospect accesses information on your firm’s website. Is the information easily accessible? When I call your office, is my call well-received and am I pleasantly greeted?

Consider all brand touchpoints and whatever the experience, make it a rewarding one.

Brandie Knox is Creative Director & Principal at knox design strategy, www.knoxdesignstrategy.com. As a strategic design studio, knox design strategy focuses on professional services firms, with expertise in the legal industry. She can be reached at brandie@knoxdesignstrategy.com / follow us on twitter @knoxdesignnyc

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