We produce regular reports for our clients to give them a picture of performance and ROI for the services we provide. In those reports we measure a number of things from execution against big picture strategy down to specific performance metrics on specific channels for a specific period in time.
Graphic design, web design, print design are a few of the regular services we provide to clients. Even though it’s not as simple to measure as say, the conversion rate of a Linkedin campaign or the click rate of an email newsletter, design can still be measured, if nothing else for internal improvement.
Like art, there is always some level of subjectivity to design. People will like or dislike a piece of art or piece of graphic design without being able to communicate why. We all carry innate biases built by a lifetime of experiences and collection of tastes. “I don’t know, it just speaks to me.”
Like art, design can be measured against principles and technique. But this type of evaluation requires certain knowledge in the area, be it oil on canvas or front-end web design. Unlike art, the sort of design we produce in branding and marketing can also be measured against functionality.
In combination with design principles like balance, space, contrast, hierarchy of information, etc., we also look at the intended function of the design piece. Function could be the objective of an advertising campaign; function could be alignment with brand attributes, it could be the design’s ability to engage a certain audience demographic.
This is where a creative brief or a set of design parameters comes into play. This is our documentation of purpose and parameters, the baseline for measurement. Being able to look at those two components allows us to answer some of the whys—why a client or a creative director didn’t like a design piece or why it didn’t live up to performance expectations.
Success becomes the melding of design for function and design within a set of parameters, while allowing room for the down in the gut emotive connection to design.