The Project Manager of one of the fifth largest commercial banks laid a work order on my desk. It was for the redesign of a critical reference tool used multiples times a day by both internal employees and external customers. On paper, the redesign promised to alleviate all frustrations with the tool by creating an improved, easier to use version. But, questions flooded my mind: had anyone talked to the people that use this tool day after day? Had anyone really looked into what was causing the frustration? Had they observed how the end users interact with the tool? I found out the answer to all of my questions was "no." The work order was merely putting ‘a new coat of paint’ over the obvious cracks in the foundation of the tool.
It was at that moment that I realized just how important good design really is; and by “good design” I mean that the design of the product, service, experience, identity, environment, etc. is considered from it’s inception (or regeneration), that it is research-based, grounded in real, human experiences, and that it is not just viewed as “the icing on the cake.”
EBEE design practices good design. We believe good design is a very powerful, effective differentiator for organizations–especially startup or small businesses. Organizations have an identity just like people, and people respond to a business’ personality just as they would with another human being. It is a form of unspoken communication. A person’s identity manifests in the types of clothes they wear, the shops they patronize, where they spend their time, etc.; similarly an organization's’ identity has a visual style/appearance, they partner with certain businesses, and they prioritize their budgetary spending in a specific way. Design offers a creative, human-centered approach to building the many facets of a business’ brand identity. It is about aligning the business’ identity with the desired customer's’ identity, so that by speaking their language they will become loyal followers and evangelists for the brand.