Measuring the effectiveness of design

1st February 2019

Delivering return on investment is a key focus for every business – you want to know your money has delivered – but how do you measure investment in good design and branding?

At Frost Creative we are always striving to deliver the best return for all of our clients but we understand that measuring design is no easy feat – but it’s not impossible so we’ve put together a few tips for measuring design effectiveness.

If you are working on a particular campaign with a plan, targets and a set budget, perhaps to increase sales or to generate more leads, it can be far easier to measure the results. For example, if you create a new packaging design you can easily compare new sales figures against the previous design sales figures.

However, other design projects can be harder to measure for effectiveness because they might be stand alone, such as a magazine design, or used as part of a much wider approach to corporate communications. In this instance evaluating effectiveness can become more difficult.

We should always try to prove the effectiveness and the return from design and it’s a very healthy mind set to have at the beginning of a project. We believe in it so much that we have entered the Design Effectiveness Awards this year.

Whenever we engage with a client it is important for us to measure the impact of our work. Here are some useful tips for how you could measure the impact of the design project you are about to engage in:

Make sure your agency agrees

If your design agency doesn’t agree with your approach to effectiveness and doesn’t want to prove that the design will work, then you won’t be able to either. You need to have the agency on board. The client and agency working together to create effective design projects is the only way to go and if you aren’t both on the same page it will never get off the ground.

Broaden your definition of design

Design can be applied broadly to business, outside of simple graphics. For example, it can be far broader –  like designing a system to solve a business challenge. Thinking about design in a broader sense could show you other ways to prove effectiveness.

Implement design objectives

Any design project needs to have a business objective at its heart which will be measurable, such as generating leads or increasing sales, however, it can be worth spending time breaking this down into much smaller, easier to assess objectives and goals.

Do some independent research

One of the only reliable and independent ways to measure anything is to employ some research before and after the project to measure the impact the design work had on the audience. The impact and the awareness it raised. Having a budget to carry out a small survey before and after the project can provide useful insight into just how effective the design was.

Give your design time to land

When running a new design campaign of any kind it needs time to embed in people’s minds and for them to see and recall it; so don’t rush out and do your research the day after releasing new packaging, for example. Give it at least a year to really work.

These are just a few quick things you can do to help evaluate the effectiveness of design and the return on investment you are making for your brand and your business, but there are many more.

If you’d like to talk to us about any aspects of branding and how effective a good brand strategy is for your business then call our experts today.