Simple is Always Better When It Comes To DesignExpert Advice•Mar 30, 2020• 2 min read
In this blog series, we’ll hear Team Alice members share their areas of expertise that can help you with your business.
“We all love the products we love because of good design,” says Kate Muelle, Hello Alice’s director of product design. From brand logos to the fonts on your website, design is an integral part of your business, its public face.
While design may be used as a tool to enhance the aesthetics of a brand, it also serves as a way to communicate information to customers. “We learn new things, navigate around cities, and connect with other people through design,” Muelle explains. “Clearly communicating information and ideas is a critical piece of business and life.”
When she’s not running Burning Man camps or playing ice hockey, Muelle is leading UX/UI and brand design on the Hello Alice platform. She studied graphic design in college and has worked 10 years in the industry. But Muelle shares that design is a process that takes time to develop — even for designers. “Learning more about design is a lot like learning about anything else, it just takes practice and time,” says Muelle. “Even with young professionals who come out of design school, it takes a while for your taste to catch up with your abilities, so have patience with yourself.
How can founders get started with design? Muelle says there are resources online like graphic design tools and templates that anyone can use. “Check out the Noun Project if you need icons [or] play around with Canva to create some marketing materials. You don’t need to be making things from scratch. It’s also fun to float around on Dribbble to see what people are making, hone your interests and taste a bit.”
And you don’t need to be a formally-trained designer to use principles of design in your business. The rule of consistency is one that all founders can use, especially when it comes to your branding. “As a new founder, I’d spend less time hemming and hawing over which font to use and more time making sure that whatever you pick is being used everywhere,” says Muelle. “Even big brands have gotten away with terrible logos for ages, but to look like a polished, respected business, you have to be consistent in your branding.”
The concept of “white space” is another essential rule in design. White space is the blank space surrounding anything that’s being designed like a postcard or an app. “Know that it’s okay, even beneficial, to have some blank spaces in the things you create,” says Muelle. “Give your logo room to breathe instead of having other elements right up next to it. It’ll make it more powerful and impactful.”
And another design tip that all business owners should know? “Simple is always better. Always.”