Beating The Jargon – How Design is Transforming Industries
Traditional Industries and Their Approach to Design
There has been recent social media and industry buzz about PhD student Mike Morrison’s initiative to encourage scientists to rethink the traditional design of scientific posters. Traditionally, scientific posters are jammed with text, limited imagery and are can be extremely difficult to read. However, Mike’s downloadable templates have given scientists the opportunity to create new and innovative posters to share their scientific research and findings. He uses negative space that prompts the user to summarize the poster’s findings in a single sentence. He has shown the science industry that less is more and this has raised massive awareness surrounding the need for graphic design in scientific industries.
However, its not only science industries where an injection of design has been long overdue. Legal, healthcare and financial industries are notoriously well known for hard to read, text ridden, jargon filled communication. It can be next to impossible to decipher the complex language and differentiate one company’s offerings from another. Imagine a legal agency that communicates simply about the beneficial services they can offer you and why you need them. Kavanagh & Co Solicitors have done just that.
Challenging The Legal Status Quo
Much like Mike’s approach, Kavanagh and Co Solicitors wanted to remove the jargon that was confusing customers and provide a simple and easily readable brochure that provided their customers with real value. This brochure was to include information offered about the various legal services that Kavanagh & Co Solicitors provide ranging from buying a house to assault in the healthcare industry. After some thought, we acknowledged that not everyone who needs services for buying a house would need information on workplace assaults and having a ‘one size fits all’ brochure would most likely overwhelm any potential clients. As a result, we decided to create individual brochures for each service; this approach proved to be a very effective marketing tool for Kavanagh & Co.
Creating individual brochures allowed us to give more precise and helpful information to a more targeted customer. It also allowed for more targeted advertising in relevant spaces. For example leaving the house buying/ selling brochures in auctioneers, leaving the healthcare harassment brochures in hospitals and leaving the wills brochure in nursing/ funeral homes etc. It avoids overwhelming the customer with additional legal information on topics they may not need and allows more room to provide the customer with the relevant and valuable information that they are looking for. As you can see below, the finished result was six clear and cohesive suite of brochures. The imagery and minimal text allow the reader to instantly understand which legal service the brochure is for.
Removing Jargon And Talking To The Customer
Traditionally, legal brochures are laden down with technical, legal language. This legal jargon makes it very difficult for the everyday customer to read and understand this which can lead them to either make snap decisions or worse, no decision at all. This is why it is so important to critically evaluate what information you need to include in your communication. When you have this relevant information, how you then portray this is equally important
Brand recognition starts with a unique and memorable logo. For law firms, logo design depends heavily on the type of law you practice. The colours you use for your branding can have a lot to do with a potential clients’ perception of you. Colours create emotional responses in our brains, so you need to think about the type of law you practice and the situations your clients are typically in. For example, if you practice family law, you may want to consider green, which represents health and renewal. If you practice business law, blues may work better, as blue represents trust and confidence.
Graphic design tells a story and in the case of legal firms it is extremely important that new clients get a feel for your story and your firm’s background. For Kavanagh & Co Solicitors, it was essential to make their legal brochures friendly, informative and reassuring for their clients, rather than strictly professional and intimidating. Creating a thoughtful design to represent your business evokes the right image in customers’ minds.
Kavanagh and Co Solicitors also have this suite of brochures available in PDF format, which means they can email the relevant brochure through to potential clients. This gives a really strong first impression to potential clients and provides them with clear, concise information. Having the brochures in digital format also allows Kavanagh & Co to promote their services visually on social media and showcase them on their website.
If you think digital marketing isn’t relevant in the legal industry, think again. Studies have found that 74% of people seeking legal services visit a firm’s website to take action. Does your website stand the test? In today’s highly competitive legal industry, you have to both stand out and provide a clear vision of who you are. Good graphic design is a great way to do this and it will give consumers a good sense of what kind of company you are. This is important in a saturated market to instill trust and comfort in your customers when facing sensitive legal issues.
The Benefits Of Embracing Graphic Design
This modern, crisp, consistent and well thought out branding instantly gives Kavanagh & Co Solicitors a trusting, warm and established feel which is exactly what a customer needs when they are enlisting a solicitor. Using imagery of people gives your firm a tangible and relatable feeling. Unique imagery is a great way to establish familiarity and trust through your law firm’s marketing. When it comes to the images on your website and brochures, sometimes generic stock photos can create a cold detached feel. Instead, consider adding high-quality photos of your office and staff, these help to remove the mystery from a potential client’s perception of your firm. Most people looking for a solicitor are in an emotionally sensitive state and having a good sense of the firm they’ll be working with can be very reassuring.
Recreating or starting your branding from scratch can be hard, but it’s the best way to be original. Each law firm has unique selling points and it’s important to show your individuality as a firm. Just think about how your firm started, who’s involved and what your story is. Think about how you could convert this into a design so consumers can get a feel of who you are.
“Anne and her team in AKGraphics are hugely talented, inspiring and understanding professionals who understand the needs of their clients. Upon embarking on creating information brochures it was essential that the brochures looked invited and conveyed the message as legal information can be daunting. Anne and her team fully understood the brief and delivered. Would definitely recommend AKGraphics”. Kirsty Kavanagh founder of Kavanagh and Co Solicitors, Carlow.
Design is Transforming Traditional Industries
Digital is not only disrupting business models across many industries, more importantly it is disrupting people’s expectations. As a result of digital advances, customers now expect new experiences, responsiveness, agility and fast service when purchasing products and services.
Financial institutions are no exception to this expectation and are now competing against many digital innovate startups catered specifically for today’s millennial market such as Revolut, Transfer Wise and N26 to name a few. The finance industry is being disrupted by modern technology paired with new competitors looking to satisfy the needs of young consumers providing digital banking solutions for the younger generation.
In order to compete with the new disruptive technology, traditional banks must improve and build on their services to be more responsive, user friendly and all round more efficient to use. Banks are beginning to realise that the traditional methods of banking are becoming outdated and irrelevant. Gone are the days of waiting in queues for lodgments and transfers. This is all completed within seconds, digitally.
In order for the optimal mobile experience to be achieved, it is necessary for banks to enlist designers that consider the end user. Evolving design needs to be a cornerstone of financial institutions if they want to survive in today’s thriving economy. Some large retail banks have acknowledged this, for example NatWest have set up an inhouse design team to redesign their online banking services. Their new design team consists of 80 designers, analysts and software engineers who are working to relaunch the banks browsers and mobile platforms.
Design is more than pixels, UX and screens. Design is not just about the style; design thinking is about analyzing how people interact with your brand. It’s a process where the designer seeks to fully understand the user, challenging traditional assumptions and redefining problems in order to identify alternative solutions that aren’t apparent to the everyday observer. In order to succeed in design thinking the designer must have a strong desire to understand the people that they are designing for and build empathy with the target user.
Another necessity in the financial industry is annual reports but they don’t have to be dull and boring. It is essential that you are communicating your results in the best easiest readable way possible to your shareholders. At AKGraphics, we have partnered with businesses and government bodies to create striking annual reports and strategy documents. To produce a compelling professional report or strategy for any business, AKGraphics needs to understand your business, your brief and your objectives. By truly understanding your organisation we can produce report designs that reflect your business and your brand. We believe that annual reports do not need to be dull. We can help you to create an engaging way to communicate with easy to read facts. They do not need to be laden down with jargon and text. Instead it can be filled with colours, icons and infographics that will encourage readers to read through.
Traditional industries such as legal, finance and healthcare are evolving and becoming highly competitive. These industries are being challenged to think in a way that they have not had to before by introducing new technologies, new methods of marketing and overall incorporating design thinking. Although ultimately it is about the quality of service or product received, eye catching informative graphics and design could be the difference between your customers picking you over a competitor. You might never be able to deliver your quality service or product if your customer doesn’t pick you in the first place. With some help from visual communicators the way you portray your business to is about to look very different.
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