In digital marketing, great design isn’t ‘a nice to have’ – it’s a necessity. Design forms a genuine connection with your audience and creates a lasting impact. Before a customer reads a single word, they notice the design. It doesn’t matter if they’re seeing your design for the first time on Instagram, a header on an email or your logo. As it’s the first impression they get of your company it is vital that they’re seeing a sleek, modern design that portrays professionalism and trustworthiness.
But why does design matter, and how can you ensure your brand’s imagery is appealing and effective? We asked two experts – The Bubble Co’s Graphic Designer Jake and Creative Manager Phil – for easy ways to improve your brand’s design to enhance user engagement.
Good design = functionality
Good design is functional. It ensures that websites, apps, EDMs and other digital marketing collateral are easy to navigate and make the user experience smooth. This in turn boosts engagement and retention. Think about it: how many times have you left a website or deleted an EDM after finding an incoherent design with hard to read text or links that don’t lead anywhere?
Jake agrees that great design and user experience (UX) are paramount, describing good UX as something than can make or break a website, app or EDM.
“UX is major. If I can’t find something and it’s too inconvenient and I know there are other options, why would I stick with it?”
Effective design can guide a user’s journey and gently nudge them towards a call-to-action, whether that’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase or taking other desired actions. Every business in the world wants to drive conversions, and good design can help that happen.
Whether it’s across different web pages or various marketing materials, maintaining a consistent design helps reinforce brand identity. Consistent colour schemes, fonts and graphical elements make your brand instantly recognisable. Think what would happen if the Matildas’ logo changed to blue and red, or if Qantas dumped their kangaroo imagery. You wouldn’t recognise the brand, and it would not entice you to engage.
Jake agrees that consistency is a major consideration for him, both as a designer and as a consumer. “Consistency separates ok branding from the really good,” he says.
“When you go to a brand’s socials, does it look like a mess, slapped together, or does it look like its conveying a consistent message? When it’s not in line with the rest of their branding, it looks sloppy.”
What do you want the reader to do?
You have their attention, they’re on your landing page and ready to make a purchase, but if it is overly hard you will lose them. Tell them what the desired action is and how to do it and make that call to action (CTA) button unmissable.
“This is a major thing,” says Jake.
“If the audience isn’t seeing the CTA, if they’re not even looking at it, who is going to click on that button?
“You need to make it really obvious. On YouTube people remind you to click to subscribe – they make it really obvious and tell you exactly where the CTA button is and what you should click.
“The CTA button needs to be simple, clean and it needs to stand out.”
He recommends having only one CTA per EDM but having it in two different locations, maybe in the header and then in the body copy.
Simplicity is beautiful
Less is often ‘more’ when it comes to great design for digital marketing. Overloaded designs can be overwhelming and confusing. Aim for clean layouts, use white space effectively and ensure that every element serves a purpose.
Phil is a fan of clean, easy to read designs, especially in the age of phone screens and wearables where many people now read their emails and visit websites.
“There shouldn’t be anything unnecessary on there. Embellishments, graphics, movement etc – if it’s not there to serve a purpose push it away.”
Don’t chance your brand’s graphic design. Speak to us – our expert designers can help create an effective concept for your brand that will improve user engagement.