Visualizingstrategy_simple

Designers partnering in business strategy formation bring many fresh tools, techniques, and perspectives to the process. From methods for gathering information, forming insights, generating ideas, imagining concepts, validating concepts, and articulating a design vision that can make ideas real, design strategists (or strategic designers) bring unique value every step of the way.

One of the most powerful tools at the disposal of the strategy team is the collection of all of the strategic intelligence that realizes the strategy into a single visualization that quickly communicates the forces driving the strategy. From the digital business perspective visualizations often reflect strategies for single or multi-channel products, services, and experiences. The end result may be a completely new web site, a specific set of web-based services for a target market, or a multi-site strategy reflecting a diverse marketing campaign embracing social networks and other discrete touchpoints.

Visualizations can be all-encompassing, covering a full range of inputs that typically include over-arching corporate strategy, brand positioning, competitive positioning, and target consumers as well as outputs such as strategic drivers, principal ideas and concepts translated into prioritized products and services, and brand and design principles to apply when tackling implementation. On the other hand, visualizations can also focus on one contributor to the strategy information stream. A good example is the quantitative and qualitative research driving the establishment of market segmentation and creation of target customer personas.

Strategic design visualizations provide business design strategy a number of great benefits. Here are a few.

  1. At a glance they provide a visual framework and a strategic context within which to house a quick view into the extensive research, insights, and findings driving the strategy. The report in word, the extensive presentation deck, the reams of research documentation are all still valid. Yet the visualization allows the viewer to quickly grasp the essence of the strategy and its principal highlights.
  2. Visualizations are excellent ways to begin the socialization of strategy process across the organization.
  3. Visualizations can be an excellent way to show how all departments within a company play a role in the execution of a strategy.
  4. Visualizations can communicate the business logic driving design initiatives. In other words, one can draw a line through the visualization connecting the strategic dots that connect a piece of content, a new feature, a tone of voice, a certain aesthetic, to the core strategy.
  5. Visualizations provide support objectivity when brainstorming ideas for new products and services.

Hey reader! If you have used great information design at your company to share your design and business strategies you may also have noticed the benefits. Why not share them here!?

(This blog has appeared previously on both www.mediacatalyst.com/blog and Molecular’s blog)

About the Author Brian Gillespie

As an independent consultant specializing in the design and innovation of business I help my clients and partners manage the diverse activities associated with driving business success by design. With a background in UX, CX and Service Design I focus on researching, designing and managing for integrated multi-touchpoint digital and physical customer experience ecosystems. I collaborate with an extensive network of exceptional and cutting-edge design agencies and talented individuals worldwide. My work is predominantly carried out in Europe and the US. Recent productive collaborations include PARK, Mad*Pow, and the E*TRADE UX team. Recent clients include global firms in financial services, pharmaceuticals, and technology. ​​ Let's collaborate!

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