Jason Putorti: The Value of Your Company is Dependent on Good Design

October 5, 2015

8:01 pm

What is the purpose of design? When it comes to the topic of design, many people tend to focus on just the pure aesthetics of design: how does something look, how do people respond to it, and does it reflect the values of the brand? But there’s more to design than just pure looks – it also comes down to the features included in a design, as well as the experience that it provides for users or consumers. At this year’s Celebrate 2015, Brigade Media cofounder Jason Putorti led a presentation on the value of design.

During his presentation at Celebrate Putorti walked the audience through the essential steps to market maturity. To him, there are three things that companies or designers have to fully accept before going into the design process: 1) understand why good design matters; 2) know where to focus; and 3) learn the basics of what it takes to make a great design process.

Design is the Rendering of Intent

So, why does good design matter? According to Putorti:

“Money. That’s the primary reason why it matters; innovation [in design] produces a lot value.”

He notes that there are several examples of companies that created more value for their company after honing in on the design of their product. Quoting user interface and design specialist, Jared Spool, Putorti says that “design is the rendering of intent” – that it’s the end result of learning about the intent of a particular product. After going through user research, looking into the market opportunity, and refining the vision, the next step is to utilize great design to render that intent. Essentially, great design is design that incorporates user needs and business goals.

From Technology to Integration

Putorti also walked the audience through what companies/brands need to focus when designing their product. Looking at the trends of various technologies (such as the MP3 player), he noted that the focus of design is dependent on your competition or the state of the market. For him, there are four different stages to market maturity: technology, features, experience, and integration.

The earliest MP3 players, for example, were competing purely on technology: the fact that a device could now play music in a completely new format. Companies at that stage designed products to try to reflect that same or similar technology. The next stage in the process is features: for newer companies coming in and hoping to compete against those products, they need to focus on designing new features – for instance, maybe, including a bigger screen into the design. From there, it goes to experience – less of a focus on feature, and more on the experience of the user; Apple, for instance, blew competitors away once it released the original iPod because it provided a new, easy experience for users. And the last stage is integration: the stage at which a product is integrated into another, like a camera built into a smartphone.

Have a Great Story

Lastly, Putorti goes into what makes a great design process. It boils down to understanding the user/consumer and empathizing with their needs.

“We as entrepreneurs, we love to build stuff…but you’ve got to understand [the people] and you’ve got to start at ‘how are we going to start with a great story’.”

You can take a look at Jason Putorti’s slides, Design is the Business, on Scribd.

On October 4-6, Tech Cocktail Celebrate Conference is gathering hundreds of attendees, industry leaders, and inspiring speakers in downtown Vegas to meet the hottest startups and investors from around the country, learn and collaborate with others turning their communities into startup cities, and enjoy music, parties, and llama spotting. Check out more Tech Cocktail Celebrate Conference coverage here.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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