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Is Good Design Good Business?

Sometimes it's hard to convince a decision-maker that design is a good investment. For some, "adequate" is enough.

This weekend, while in Las Vegas, I saw a couple of examples that may illustrate the difference good design makes on a product's perceived value.

We started our evening at a smaller casino with mediocre design... from interior decorating to the restaurant logos, this place could definitely be described as adequate. The main lobby was akin to a Midwest hotel lounge, and the chairs were sturdy but not particularly attractive. There was no music.

Later, we found ourselves hanging out in the brand-new Cosmopolitan, which could not have been more different. Every corner was dressed in details to please the eye, from lighting to the floors to seats and signs. There was hip music playing everywhere.

While the visual differences in the structures were easy to spot, the real question is: How does this translate to more money for the owners?

Well, in the small casino, the patrons were mostly dressed in jeans. The restaurants and lounges were empty, and the tables were too. At the Cosmopolitan, people were dressed to the nines, drinking like fish, gambling in groups, and hanging out everywhere... the atmosphere was so attractive that it seemed like people wanted to soak in it. Hanging out longer = spending more money.

The next time you're preparing something for your business, ask yourself whether your ideal customers would be more likely to convert if the design spoke to their aesthetic or gave them the impression that you're new, modern, and something worth soaking in.