Cole Sletten talks Empathy and Design in PSFK

December 10 2015 Press

Too often, designers and agencies focus on delivering the minimum viable success for a client. However, when one considers the role that advertising plays in our lives, it becomes clear that there is so much more to a deliverable. When employed in the social good space, good design gas the power to influence behavior and ultimately foster a better society. In a recent article in PSFK, our Creative Director Cole Sletten talked about how design thinking impacts the social behavior of Internet users and how this approach influenced our work on Univison’s Key to Success.

Excerpt:

How can thoughtful design help increase the effectiveness of caused-based portals?

Before any messaging can even be read, design is making an initial impression on a user. So the most immediate value of design for cause-based organizations is to create an excellent first impression that positions the brand as modern, smart and trustworthy. But the role of design should go far beyond simple visual decoration. Design thinking can inform the entire digital experience of a cause-based brand, resulting in new, elevated ideas like smart follow-up communications that demonstrate transparency, or app features that reward everyday behaviors with charitable donations.

From redesigning an official website to designing a feature in an app that encourages check-ins at local restaurants in exchange for charitable donations, there are many ways charitable/NGO causes could benefit from a simple visual overhaul and UX re-work.

What are three critical components of thoughtful design? And why?

At the risk of repeating myself, it once again has to start with empathy.

It’s far too easy to design for yourself or for the client these days, so as designers we must take responsibility for always keeping the user front and center. In addition to empathy, I’d add simplicity and authenticity. The most effective brands—think about nonprofit stalwarts like charity: water and TOMS—merge world-class aesthetics with a tone of voice and user experiences that lean on honesty, optimism and storytelling to build a relationship with users.

In the end, that’s what we’re trying to do: Build relationships with the humans that are spending time with our brands.

Read the rest of the article here.

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