Verse Four

Design as Renovation

Design starts with what’s there and helps it evolve. It encourages business to stay healthy by keeping it fresh, keeping it in tune with its customer’s needs.

Review, critique, redesign. Again and again. Design never stops learning and so it never stops building. Switch out some punctuation — renovation. Reduce to just the essential fonts — renovation. Move the submit button closer to the form and increase contrast — renovation. We must stand inside the user so we can see with their eyes. We need to become the customer so we can start to see the little things that are out of place, that don’t make sense, that made them think twice. There’s always an opportunity to dial it in and good design loves to do this.

Cogs rolling. Molds broken. Dials tuned. Levers shifted. Design is renovation. Design enters the fray with curiosity and questions tearing down the assumptions like old plaster walls to find the studs underneath. Design knows the budget, reads the resources, knocks into the constraints that can’t budge and then begins to build refreshed. Design cares for the customer, not for itself. It builds with what it has from the tools and patterns, trade practices, and well-honed methods. It builds with invention and wild new material. This is renovation.

Renovation is micro revolution. Design changes the business discussion. It focuses the conversation on what’s happening between the customer’s ears. Design looks for the customer’s desires. Design is personal renovation and self-help for the business. Business renovates because the relationship with the people who pay for the business are people, they change, they move, they breathe and shift. So the business renovates to stay healthy and serve the user freshly and in meaningful ways. This is design. You thought design was the visual presentation of the business, but it’s not, it’s every part of the business that’s experienced.

Brand is the promise of an experience - Ed Tettemer

Design is not a product, design is a life. Design will grow whether you like it or not, and in renovation is our shepherding of the direction of that growth. We renovate to take charge of that direction. We renovate to drive that growth toward health and stability for the organization. We renovate to give ballast to the brand. We renovate to stay alive.