Why Your Business Needs Good Design?

used with permission from HP Technology at Work

Cubicles. Meetings. Web browsing. Your average workday may not appear like it’s influenced by art, but look a little closer and you might be surprised. Everything about your business—from the way your office is laid out to the design of your PCs—combines form and function to help you be more effective and profitable. Let’s explore how you can make the most of each medium.

Office design
Our surroundings influence our daily lives. With the average person spending 8.9 hours per day on work and related activities, the office environment can have a huge effect on our health and state of mind.1

The art of office design fosters productivity, happiness, and a strong company culture by focusing on employees’ needs—both as a group and as individuals. Here are four tips for improving your own office’s design:

  1. Place employees near natural light—or simulate it: Natural light exposure has been shown to help people perform better at work and sleep better at home.2 If you can’t move desks near windows, try switching to a fuller-spectrum light source to provide increased brightness and visual acuity.
  2. Let employees control their environment: Graphic Designers, Sales Reps, CEOs—they all have different needs. So, why would you expect them to succeed with the same workstation setup? Adjustable desks, lighting, and temperature controls allow individuals and teams to customize the look, feel, and function of their areas. The more customization options you provide, the more your employees will be able to optimize their workstations.
  3. Embrace the mobile office: Sometimes the perfect office is your own home office. Recent studies show that the option to work from home can make employees happier and more productive.3 To embrace the mobile office, consider investing in secure mobile devices, such as business-grade laptops or hybrid PCs, as well as cloud management and security solutions, such as HP Touchpoint Manager.*

Web design
A website is the foundation of a business’s online presence: It’s where clients and prospects learn who you are, what you do, and why they should work with or for you. You have only a few moments to make a good impression before they’ve formed an opinion of your business. An artfully designed website is one that makes it easy for users to explore and discover whatever information they’re seeking—and ultimately make a purchase.

Four tips to help you make the most of your website design:

  1. Experiment with rich animation: Rich animations—such as pop-ups or hover effects—can accomplish anything from distracting a user during long loads to incorporating additional information without overloading their senses. A few animations to consider include galleries, slideshows, 360-degree motion, scrolling, background videos, and menu reveals. But remember to be purposeful and sparing, otherwise you risk overwhelming your users.
  2. Adopt responsive design: The average U.S. adult spends about 2.8 hours per day on their mobile device.4 Responsive design allows a webpage to be displayed at all screen sizes—from desktops to mobile devices—with unique, accessible layouts. Instead of shrinking the size of your webpage, responsive design optimizes a webpage for the best possible user experience.
  3. Follow set UI patterns: Basic user functions like navigation are extremely important to take into consideration when designing your site. The hamburger menu (three vertical lines) is now an established symbol for navigation menus. Additional User Interface Design (UI) patterns include long scrolling and card layouts such as you see on Pinterest.

Business PCs
A business’s decision to rely on outdated technology can hurt its relationship with both employees and customers.5 Additionally, 70% of businesses believe modern technology—and keeping up with it—is very important to the success of a company.5

The art behind business PCs is about accomplishing tasks quickly, while instilling confidence in users and customers. Here are three ways to help ensure your PCs help—instead of hinder—your business:

  • Newer is better: 68% of customers think “modern technology” is key to the success of a business.6 ;This impression is as much about the capabilities (fast, secure) as it is about the aesthetic (modern, sleek). And with information security growing more important every day, older PCs can appear outdated and thus more vulnerable to intrusion.
  • Increase uptime: There’s nothing pretty about lost productivity. Workers at small- and medium-sized businesses could be losing up to one week of productivity per year because of slowdowns and downtime related to using old PCs (4+ years old).6 Investing in newer business PCs means less repair time, cheaper running costs, and more time spent working instead of waiting.
  • Go mobile: Business has changed. It’s no longer something you do exclusively at your desk or in a conference room. 57.8% of customers define a modern small to medium business as one that includes modern mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones.5 Consider investing in mobile devices that supplement your desktops or notebooks or, like the HP Elite x3, provide a PC’s functions in a smaller footprint.

The idea behind these art forms is to make the most of each and every moment. Happier employees, improved web design, modern business PCs—they all contribute to making a more productive (and maybe more profitable) business.

[1] US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Charts from the American Time Use Survey
[2] Psychology Today, Exposure to Natural Light Improves Workplace Performance
[3] Harvard Business Review, To Raise Productivity, Let More Employees Work From Home
[4] KPCB, 2015 Internet Trends
[5] NSBA, 2013 Small Business Technology Survey
[6] ZDNet, How much does outdated technology hurt SMB competitiveness?

*HP Touchpoint Manager requires purchase of a subscription and supports Android™, iOS and Windows 7 or higher operating systems and PCs, notebooks, tablets and smartphones from various manufacturers. Not available in all countries see www.hp.com/touchpoint for availability information.