Humans are bombarded everyday by a vast array of choices they must make. Which way should I drive to work? What brand of pasta sauce should I get? What outfit should I wear? These are often routine choices that we barely even think about, but something must have influenced those decisions the first time around. That something is usually design. We don’t always think of it as design, though. To some it’s aesthetic, to others it’s the implied quality. But it all boils down to how things are designed.
The Path Taken (Or Not)
Many people have favorite roads to take. Whether it’s because of the nature, the buildings, or something else, they usually choose that path because it’s visually pleasing. There may be plenty of other paths to get you to your destination, but since one is more visually enjoyable, you choose that one. The same can be said for websites and brands. For example, if you’re looking to buy a black shirt online, you’ll be presented with countless options. So how do you choose? Maybe you go with the shirt that, thanks to the designer, has the best subtle details to it. However, if all your options are the same, you simply go with the website or brand that sticks out as resonating with you most. That all comes back to how it was designed as well.
Off to the Market
Packaging is a major influence in what products we choose to buy. When shopping for pasta sauce, there’s no way of knowing the quality of what’s inside. Your choice is entirely based on your own intuition. Price is usually the biggest determining factor, but when there are multiple options at the same price, you’re left to decide based on superficial reasoning. This could be anything from the shape of the jar to the more “natural-looking” label. It could also be the brand loyalty to what you’ve had since you were little, and that just seeing the packaging brings a sense of nostalgia. Even generic products are designed with specific goals in mind. Often they are purposely designed to look bad. This is because people usually assume generic products are the best deal, so they’ll choose it without even looking at the prices.
Save the Planet
With climate change being such a hot topic these days, this leads us to another important aspect of design, which is sustainability. Every day, people become more aware of their personal impact on the earth. This definitely influences buying choices. For example, I love barbecue. But the fact that one of my favorite barbecue restaurants serves all of their food in styrofoam makes me not want to eat there very often at all. If they were to change the design of their packaging to a more environmentally friendly-design it may very well encourage more people to enjoy their food.
Design is so much more than just how something looks. It’s the whole experience you get from the interaction. This can be anything from simple satisfaction to a much more emotional response. Whether you’re creating a website or just driving to work, there’s a good chance you’re making some sort of decision based on design.