Design is Subjective Until Nuanced Testing and Marketplace Analysis Take Place

Design is Subjective Until Nuanced Testing and Marketplace Analysis Take Place

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Design, in its essence, is an inherently subjective domain. It is a realm where creativity, personal preferences, and aesthetic judgments intersect. However, when design is applied to the business context, this subjectivity needs to be tempered with objective analysis. Nuanced testing and marketplace analysis are pivotal in transforming subjective designs into objective business assets.

Framing Success in Design

The first step in this transformation is framing what success looks like for a particular design. Success criteria can vary depending on the design’s purpose and the business’s goals. It could be enhancing brand recognition, improving user experience, increasing conversion rates, or boosting customer engagement. By defining clear, measurable objectives, businesses can move beyond subjective opinions and focus on achieving tangible results.

The Role of Testing in Design

Once success criteria are established, the next step is to define what to test to reach these goals. This is where the design process becomes empirical and data-driven. A/B testing, user feedback surveys, usability testing, and heat maps are just a few tools that can provide insights into how effective a design is in achieving its objectives.

For instance, if the goal is to improve user experience on a website, businesses might test different layout designs, navigation structures, or call-to-action buttons to see which version yields the best user engagement metrics. By systematically testing different design elements, businesses can identify what resonates with their target audience and optimize their designs accordingly.

Removing Emotion from the Design Process

One of the biggest challenges in this process is removing emotion and personal opinion from the design equation. It’s natural for business owners and stakeholders to have preferences and attachments to certain designs. However, when it comes to business, the ultimate judge of a design’s success should be its performance in the marketplace, not individual tastes.

This means that statements like “I like that design” should be replaced with “Let’s test that design and see how it performs.” It’s essential to adopt a mindset that values data and results over personal preferences.

The Importance of Customer-Centric Design

The ultimate goal of any business design is to appeal to its customers. A design that the business owner loves might not necessarily resonate with the target audience. The only way to bridge this gap is through testing and analysis. By putting the customer at the center of the design process, businesses can ensure that their designs are not just aesthetically pleasing but also effective in engaging and converting customers.


While design starts as a subjective art form, it must evolve into an objective tool for business success. By framing success, defining what to test, removing emotion from the process, and focusing on the customer, businesses can transform subjective designs into objective assets that drive growth and success.

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