Tools and projects that are well designed increase productivity. This is primarily about visual appearance, but also about process design and the emotions generated by it.
I used to think that productivity was mostly about tools being functional and fast. As a result, the output was good in terms of content, but didn't look much on the outside. For example, this site was very plain, at the expense of design.
While I still stand by the principles about the minimalist design of my website, I've realized that when it comes to being productive and fun to work with, design matters too.
Good Design Is Attractive
Well-designed projects attract us. For example, I suddenly have a lot more fun working on my website since I released the new design. People are automatically attracted to pretty things that appeal to their inner sense of aesthetics.
However, there are two things to keep in mind:
- There is no such thing as an objectively “beautiful” design. All people have a different sense of what is aesthetic and what is not. Therefore, for your own projects and tools, you should meet your own taste as best as possible. When it comes to publishing results, however, you have to adapt to the possibly different style of the target audience.
- If you have just redesigned a project, it looks more appealing not only because of its aesthetics, but also because it is new. This appeal quickly wears off over time. So, you shouldn't be surprised if the attraction diminishes after the first few days or weeks.
Good Design Is Motivating
If the tools and projects are appealing through aesthetic design, this also has consequences for your own motivation. People automatically prefer to work with apps or tools that look and feel good.
On this point, process design also plays an important role. A well-designed process is easy to handle because it is prepared and complemented or supported by other workflows. If you can apply that to your own way of working, it improves results and motivation. We are naturally wired to prefer simple tasks and are therefore more easily motivated to do them.
In short, your own workflows should be made as simple as possible, for example through customized tools, templates, shortcuts and checklists.
Good Design Implies a High Standard of Quality
In addition, following a design ideal and working to apply it to other projects can be inspiring. For example, while redesigning my website, I looked at many other websites and CSS projects for inspiration and a design guideline. However, depending on your personality, this incentive can also turn into despair if you then fail to achieve your own ideals.
The external effect of a good design should not be underestimated, too. Regardless of the content, an aesthetic presentation of results makes a much better impression than a thrown-together one. It is not only the content that matters, but also the form as well as the appearance with which it is delivered.
Good design is often seen as a sign of professionalism and skill. With a good design, you can easily score plus points, especially on the first impression.
A good design not only makes you look more professional, but thanks to better ideals, greater motivation and increased appeal, you can achieve results that would not have been possible before.