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The one thing that’s totally ruining your design.

The one thing that’s totally ruining your design.

At Tilt, we like to do things a little bit differently. When it comes to design there are a lot of challenges. First, we want to make sure our material is informative but we also want to make sure that it’s fun so we don’t lose our audience along the way. Our stuff is not what you typically see from others in our field. I thought this week I’d give a little insight into our design process and one of the most important things we’ve learned along the way about keeping our audience engaged.

The secret sauce

There are a lot of reasons design falls flat. The one I want to talk about this week will dramatically change everything you do from here on out, whether you are a designer or someone who just purchases design. It’s nothing new but somehow it tends to get overlooked more often than not. Before I reveal the secret to you, it's important to understand that this solution only works if you are 100% committed. There is no halfway here, so if you’re truly serious about making a statement and finally getting your marketing and design noticed - stop playing it safe.

White noise.

We live in a time where we are constantly bombarded with messages from the moment we wake up until we finally go to sleep at night - so many that eventually it all just becomes white noise. If your current design is overly safe then it’s just part of that white noise. It’s part of the problem and by playing it safe your design is just elevator music in a dance club, brown shoes with a blue suit, or a California roll with imitation crab meat on a menu full of exotic choices. By offending no one, you end up delighting no one. When you don’t stand out, you blend in and when you blend in, nobody hears your message and nobody cares.

Stop thinking zebra start thinking peacock.

It’s ok, it’s not your fault.  Millions of years of evolution are on your side. The zebra who strays too from the herd is quickly picked off by hungry lions. Nobody wants to be that zebra but lions are no longer a real threat (at least where most people live) which means there are way too many zebras. Bad news for zebras, good news for those willing to stand out.

The solution is finding a way to zig while others zag. The peacock knows how to do this. It’s in his job description. Do you think he spends a second of his day worrying about whether he fits in? Of course not. His job is to stand out and be noticed and if that means some of the other peacocks might not like it, then fine, because the peacock is not there to please everyone. He is a total niche marketer. Be bold and be more like the peacock.

Taking risks

Nobody wants to stick their neck out because that means taking a risk and risks are risky but one thing risks are not, is boring. So take a look at your design. Does it look like everyone else’s? Can your customers even tell the difference between you and your competition? Will they remember your message when they leave your site? Is your message fun and inviting or dull as a used dish rag?

If you are still under the delusion that looking like everyone else is a good thing, then you’re marketing efforts are doomed to mediocrity. You have created a world where nobody really cares one way or another about your product. If on the other hand, you want to separate yourself from your competition, then maybe it’s time to shake things up a little bit. Take some risks. Research what others in your field are doing and zig while they’re all zagging - because if you don’t your message is just white noise.