I founded Super Helpful to help organizations realize the financial benefits of digital transformation and user-focused design.

In short, organizations succeed in proportion to how much they set aside self-interest and help the people that they serve. You can translate that into an equation:

data-driven decision making + user-focused design = greater efficiency & increased revenue

Here’s the same formula turned inside out:

Politically-motivated decisions + organization-centric design = waste & decline

For years, I’ve been fascinated as to why so many companies pursue the latter instead of the former.

One reason may be simply inertia, or there may be little appreciation of design is a vehicle for improvement.

For those who do allocate resources to design, there’s another trap: The persistent notion that designers should be judged by what they produce.

Here's the thing: If you’re judging your designers by what they produce, you’re burning cash by the barrel.

"Ok. So how exactly are we supposed to measure the quality of a design if we don’t go by what our designers make?”

Measure consumption — not production.

Measure how a design is used by the people you wish to reach. How do they interact with it? Do they interact with it? Does the interaction lead to more revenue for your business? 

At {{ subscriber.company_name }}, don't you review employees by the results of their work? I'm guessing you gauge the quality of employees’ work by performance, not by counting how much stuff they churn out or whether it looks pretty.

Imagine reviewing an executive’s performance based whether you liked the fonts they chose in the reports they write or the number of powerpoint presentations they create in a year.

That would be crazy.

Why do we treat design differently?

More on that next time.

Have a great weekend,

Kyle

PS. Thanks to all who responded to last week’s poll. It looks like there’s some interest in the Super Helpful Guide to Website Evaluations. On average, you all said that you’d value the guide at around $50. If you haven’t yet taken the poll, you can share your feedback here. I’d love to hear from you.