Five Things Every CEO Needs to Know about Software Design

Michael Dealoia headshot
Michael Dealoia

There is an old adage, “Design is thinking made visible.” This is an absolute truth in the digital age. As a CEO it is mission critical that you understand the design process and how it affects your business.

At Designing Interactive (D-I), our mission is to make the world intuitive. The following five design truths are at the core of our philosophy. Design is the epicenter that drives the strategies we have used to create user interfaces for millions of people across the globe.

1. Design Disrupts

Experiences are at the heart of winning (and losing) customers. If you can engage someone with a great experience, they will sing your praises for years. Yet, a frustrated customer may not stay customer for long. Your success depends upon your ability to keep open honest conversations with your customer base.

It's natural for a small company to listen and respond to customers faster than a large company. Large companies need to retool their processes to react faster in order to keep their customers happy.

Small companies are nimble, can react to feedback easier, and ship product updates faster than large counterparts. Small companies can use design as a competitive advantage to steal market share. Use design as a disruptive tool against your competition.

2. Design Enhances Employee Morale

New employees onboard faster when tools are easy to use. As a cool cultural element – people tend to enjoy their jobs more when internal tools compliment their needs.

In one of the companies D-I worked with the number one reason their data-entry workers quit was because it took too much training to feel productive. It took an agonizing six weeks to get trained on the existing software, with the average employee quitting after only ten weeks. This cost our client significant capital to keep the hiring process going due to heavy attrition.

A better experience with the internal products designed by D-I decreased employee turn over, which saves on HR costs, and made each employee more efficient at their jobs.

3. Design Improves Customer Retention

Companies that utilize intuitive design find that their customers are less frustrated and use their software more. In fact, customers are more loyal and are more likely to recommend you to others.

This goes hand-in-hand with point #1. Customers who are treated to a great experience don't leave, even in the face of competing products which also have great experiences.

4. Design Eliminates Waste

Great design is more about what you remove than what you add. A company must be ruthless in the pursuit of an intuitive product and great visual design.

The design process forces business processes to be reviewed and codified. Data must be tracked and measured for efficiency and key metrics made visible by the software product. Real time dashboards provide minute-by-minute feedback of your most important Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).

5. Design Identifies New Business Opportunities

As a result of open conversations with customers and simplifying the design of your product portfolio - you will discover new opportunities to serve your customers.

Famously, Amazon makes the majority of their annual revenue through its profound Amazon Web Services. The infrastructure they created to sell goods and services on has turned out to be a valuable service in its own right. These opportunities are much easier to spot once you've pulled out all the weeds.

Final Thoughts

As a CEO of an enterprise, be active in your design process. Well thought out design can induce great affection towards your software and profitable affinity to your brand. Design that is intuitive can improve the effectiveness of your organization and ultimately improve the revenue of your company.

This post was last updated on: Feb 15, 2021.