Apptivate Partner

Insights | By Dan Holbourn May 1, 2019

Good Design is Good Business

How good design can drive revenue for your business

Design is everywhere. We can’t escape it. It influences almost every aspect of our lives from what we buy to what we wear, to even what beliefs we hold. Design is more than a company logo; its a visual language with the power to shape human behaviour. 

Design serves many functions: to get our attention or sell us something, to educate us and guide us. In this post, I will explain the difference between good and bad design and how to use good design to unlock potential revenue for your business.

Good and bad design

So what makes a design “good”? Well, simply put, good design evokes an emotional response from the viewer and encourages them to take a specific action – an action that supports your objectives. That action could be to click a button, buy a product, or even follow a political party. 

Hitler Propaganda Posters

Nazi propaganda applied design principles to trigger emotion, persuade and ultimately recruit.

Design is always used to achieve an objective. In app development, good design can be the difference between mass adoption or failure. Of course an app needs to solve a fundamental problem, but all successful apps have highly refined user experiences (design), strategically developed with the aim to attract and retain its users. 

The fundamentals of good design in app development

  • Objective – What is the design trying to achieve?
  • Elements – The design uses the 6 elements of design effectively (line, colour, shape, texture, size and space)
  • Principles – The design uses the 4 principles of design effectively (contrast, alignment, repetition and proximity)
  • Optimisation – A website or app is never finished. User behaviour changes daily, so every digital product needs to adapt or die. 


Good design helped Twitter gain massive market share

Given the nature of the Twitter app (lots of short punchy “tweets”) the potential for a messy interface was probable. To avoid this, the Twitter design team relied on fundamental design principles (namely the Golden Ratio) to achieve optimum legibility. Note how various elements are positioned on the page to most effectively guide the eye:

Twitter Interface Golden Rule

The What Ratio? 

The Golden Ratio is so named because the shape is rooted in nature and mathematics, making it the perfect combination of balance and harmony.

You’ll see it in the curve of a seashell, the structure of the Eiffel Tower and a little shack called the ancient Greek Parthenon.

Why do designers still apply the Golden Ratio? 

Design is not just what something looks like. It’s what it feels like. And most importantly, how it works. 

Apart from being the standard for beauty and balance, the Golden Ratio helps to spatially prioritise and structure content to maximise legibility, impact and aesthetics. If you’ve got a lot of information to convey (and what brand doesn’t?), the Golden Ratio makes it easier for your user to consume your message. Don’t make your consumer work to grasp your brand and selling points – make it seamless.

Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent ~ Joe Sparano

But how will good design deliver increased revenue?

The answer is simple. And in its simplicity lies the complexity. Buckle up for Design 101:

  • To acquire a customer, you need to build trust.
  • To build trust, you need to persuade your customer that your brand/product/service will solve their problem better than any other competitor.
  • You have exactly 0.05 seconds for a customer to decide your brand is visually appealing or not.
  • It takes 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on the area of your website that influences their first impression. (Hello, Golden Ratio.)
  • 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if the layout is not appealing.
  • 94% of consumers mistrusted a website because of its design.
  • A positive first impression increases perceived satisfaction (and higher satisfaction = return customers).
  • Use of colour in branding increases recognition up to 80%.

So you want your brand to stand out – you need a great design. You want to establish trust, familiarity and an emotional response – you need a great design. You want to navigate the consumer through your messaging, spotlighting the key elements that will be most likely to persuade or convert – you need a great design. You want them to engage with your brand – you need a great design. Oh, and once you’ve hooked them, you want them to keep coming back – you need a great design.

If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this: a study by The Design Council of companies listed on the Financial Times Stock Exchange found that those who placed an emphasis on design outperformed the FTSE 100 index by 200%.

Good design is good business. Great design can lift your bottom line.


Let’s build something exceptional.

Ready to accelerate your business? Let’s get started.

Contact Us