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Avoiding Design Malpractice: 3 Tips for Businesses Looking for Healthier, Successful Design

16 02 26 blog heading It's that time of year again! People are getting that shot in the arm to stay healthy.  You might also be looking to see if your business can use that shot in the arm as well. If you're strengthening your brand and building on your promotional materials, you might have an idea where you're struggling.  Or you're unsure of how to get the image looking fit again.  A pair of web guru brothers from Australia - notably, Matt Newton - brought up an interesting concept on a design podcast a while back.  The notion of "Design Malpractice." What's Design Malpractice? As he bluntly put, you don't go to the doctor with a bacterial infection and tell him you need meds to treat a virus. If he went against all his medical knowledge and prescribed simply what the patient wanted, rest assured the consequences could be dire.  He would be risking medical malpractice. It may have sounded a bit brash, but if you're looking to make your business healthy and strong, think of a designer as your brand's physician.  The risk of Design Malpractice often spurs from one key factor: lack of confidence in the doctor.  And that's a fair assessment. You're handing your health of your business over to a team or expert you've never met. A good physician will do their best to make sure his patient is asking as many questions possible, and then explain why their treatment can help. So to embellish the conversation from an old podcast episode, here's three helpful tips on how to find a great design doctor to ensure you have confidence in their prescription for a healthier business. 1. Treat Your "Business Pains" Like an Illness. You're trying to improve your business.  Something's a pain in your side that's keeping you up at night.  What are the symptoms? Little attention? An inconsistent voice? Lack-luster promotions?  Show what ailments are hurting your brand. Explain your goals. You might be thinking of a catalog, but maybe all you need is a brochure.  The more you explain your needs and challenges, the better your prescription will be. team meeting 2. Find a Doctor with a Great "Bed-side Manner" Sometimes a doctor with that "human" element makes it easier on the patient. In design, this means keeping the brainstorming engaging and fun.  Don't worry about "bad" ideas. Get as many out there as possible.  When the experience is more pleasant, the conversation is less abrasive and more clear. People will be more prone to follow the treatment because a level of trust has been reached. After everything's on the table, a designer can work through all the topics.  Soon they can give you "clinically proven" ideas that are going to help your business. Ultimately, this then leads into Tip Number Three: 3.  Trust in Your Doctor's Treatment. Once the trust has been established, chances are you're going to trust in the treatment.  Sometimes it may go against your initial instincts, so feel free to ask WHY the treatment works.  Maybe they can explain why emotional attachment to green is a better color than red for your promos.  A catchy 6-word headline might have a better chance to grip the audience's attention, so they will read the paragraph of services. Sometimes you might be surprised of the design, but the doctor has checked you out and is doing everything to making a healthier business for yourself.  Of course, there's the followup appointments.  Typically these are the closing things to look for.  Checking proofs, making sure all key points are made. Typos. Deadlines, and how they can be best met. A special note:  be careful about Design ER! Last minute promos, unexpected projects, and jobs that need immediate repair.  Just like any medical emergency, immediate assistance is critical and can only fulfill so much.  Keep your business healthy. Visit your design doctor often with marketing checkups so they can keep your business running faster and stronger.

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