Graphic and product design with UX: grabbing attention within a second

How long do you have to make a good first impression? In English, it rolls off the tongue nicely: "First impressions matter." That's certainly true. This makes it a matter of milliseconds in which a person makes a decision. Do I like you, or not? Thus, we judge fellow human beings in particular, but also products.

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Especially on the Internet, first impressions are very important. A study shows that people need one-fifth of a second to make a judgment. This means that your website, web shop or e-mail flow will be reviewed within less than a second.

It may sound unfair. If people took just a few minutes to peruse your product, they would see what your brand stands for. Consumers would understand the story behind your business and find out what good service you offer.

In an ideal world, it would work like this. Unfortunately, humanity has become impatient. We are so used to technology and the daily flood of information that we want to be entertained within less than a second.

What do you do yourself the moment a Web page doesn’t load properly? Fat chance you’ll click away from the site and search further. That’s how it works with assessing your brand, too. The moral of the story: you have a few seconds to make an impression. Make sure everything looks good.

The customer experience only begins when the visitor finds the website worthy of viewing. This is how the entire User Experience (UX) process comes about. And for the customer experience to take off, the first impression must be positive. In our previous article we talked about the importance of web design. In this blog, we will take a closer look at a specific element of web design: graphic design.

What is the graphic design?

The concepts of UX and graphic design go hand in hand. Graphic design used to refer primarily to printed matter and other physical products. In the digital age, this has changed. Of course, brochures and packaging still need to be designed. It may be a clue, but graphic design today – like many other industries – focuses primarily on the digital world.

Graphic design, then, in UX focuses primarily on the visual design of digital products. Apart from the texts and words on your website, every little detail falls under graphic design. The graphic design of your site is the first thing visitors see. And as mentioned, therefore, the first thing your brand is judged on.

Corporate identity

Your website, web shop and e-mail should have a similar corporate identity. A brand exudes something. You do this by telling a story, both with words and with a corporate identity. Colors, logos and illustrations give your brand a certain corporate identity. With a corporate identity, you actually define your brand’s digital identity.

It is all the visual elements that give your brand an identity. The identity of your company remains broadly the same. This does not mean that you cannot modify a corporate identity. House styles are not timeless. We live in a world that is constantly changing. A well-known saying is that “a company must move with the times.” So brands must be able to respond well to this.

A corporate identity largely determines whether a visitor or customer feels at home with a brand. This is relevant to visiting a Web site, but also in e-mail marketing. The estimated number e-mail users worldwide stands at 4.3 billion. Meanwhile, spam boxes exist, but this does not mean that the relevance of e-mail marketing is diminishing. This is another part of user experience. And so also an example where corporate identity plays a role. Recipients of mailings need to know within those one milliseconds where the mail came from. Corporate identity plays a nice role in this.


Paste some pictures from the Google Images and you’re there, right? If only it were that easy. Apart from the strict rules around copyright, your website is not going to be a success with this. Photos and graphics should match your brand’s design style. Sometimes a simple filter over an image can be enough, but again, it is important that this is done by experts.

This sounds exaggerated, but is reality. You have less than a second to make a good impression, remember? An image in the wrong place, or that is at odds with the colors in your site can immediately turn a visitor away.

What type of graphics or photos you want to use is determined right away in the early initial stages of UX design. You can’t have a design made by a digital agency and add images a month later. During the design phase, the use of graphics is immediately included. In many cases, it is a matter of simple investment. Have an experienced graphic designer create custom illustrations. You then immediately have the basis for your design.

How often do you come across sites with original designs? Think digital drawings with cheerful colors. This makes us feel good as human beings. Similar to your children’s coloring pages. Who associates something so nice with something bad? No one!

Visualize Data

Information is the new gold. For companies, marketing agencies and just as much for clients. We want to see evidence that something works. Would love to hear why one smartphone is better than the last. Why does this work so well? Because it almost sounds like science. Using numbers makes it sound like something is proven.

Which of the two following statements sounds better? “This smartphone is lighter and faster. “This smartphone is 11% lighter and 30% faster than the previous one.” The second sentence sounds better. What works even better is to use no sentence at all. Visualize the data with an illustration. Next to the image of it the new smartphone, put down the percentages.

You can think of the use of visual data as a combination of UX design and copywriting. By presenting the right words and numbers in a certain way, you influence the customer’s thought process. Figures come across as reliable. Data has no opinion, unlike words.

With a combination of limited words, figures and illustrations, you can tell complete stories. It requires some extra work, but you get a lot in return. Of course, this should also fit well with the concept of your website and brand. For a brand with a sustainable product and an important mission, data has more relevance than a website featuring children’s toys. Good concepts of data visualization can provide a lot of inspiration for telling your story.

Product Design

Most likely, your brand’s product has already been designed. Having a website or digital concept designed without a working product often doesn’t make sense. There are exceptions, of course, but generally the product exists the moment you hire a digital agency.

The whole idea behind product design is not so much how the physical product is designed. Product design is about much more than that. Product design focuses primarily on the solutions a product provides customers. If your company offers a specific service, then you can also think of this as product design.

Product design is thus a process of creativity, creation, and problem-solving ability. So UX and UI play a central role here. So if you want successful product design, you have to immerse yourself in the customer and the end user. It’s all about a consumer’s experience. A product design must respond to that.

So how to incorporate this into your graphic design is the big challenge. Your product or service should solve a customer’s problem. This should be highlighted in a clear way on your website. Your product should communicate the message that there is a solution for the customer. What your brand stands for largely determines whether your brand becomes successful. According to this study, building a strong brand is the most important aspect for Business to Business (B2B) marketers. Of course, this is just as important for companies supplying consumers.

So product design goes hand in hand with UX design, UI design and graphic design. At the process around product design is about being able to show empathy for your customers, identify a problem and then solve it. Does this look familiar? It’s pretty much like UX design, where you understand the customer’s experience, get to the bottom of it and respond to it intelligently.

So determine for yourself what problem your product or service is supposed to solve for the customer. Where are the bottlenecks and what is the rationale behind them? If you sell an electric bike, what problem do you take away? Effort, discomfort, or a limitation to day trips? All three answers can be right, but the important thing is to explain it clearly. The customer needs to see your product, read the copywriting and feel immediately understood. That’s how you bring in customers.

So this is not about just talking about your company or your brand. Customers will naturally find out what you stand for. In good product design, you respond psychologically to people’s desire.

Invest in your design

Good graphic design is an investment that can pay off in the short term. Remember that every millisecond matters and you have limited time to make an impression. Why not have your design built by an expert digital agency? Let’s see what we can do for each other. Schedule a no-obligation introductory meeting with dusver.

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