In 2022, What do we mean by ‘digital design’?
We recently put a job listing out – advertising for a ‘Digital Designer’: someone to bring ideas and experience to a growing demand for web and app projects.
Then we changed it.
The issue was every brand project has a digital aspect these days. So, in 2022, what are we talking about when we say ‘digital design’, when it’s such an integral part of any brief coming through the door?
With ubiquity, comes a standardisation of approach. Functional considerations – UX best practises and technical restrictions – guiding outputs across the web, how do we avoid digital brand experiences becoming cookie-cutter?
When we work with a client, we look to create interest by finding difference. Stepping back, questioning a brief and focusing on an ideas-first approach in order to create something great. That thinking is applied to any brief – and digital outputs are no exception. Great ideas lead to digital innovation and that’s what sets the work apart.
When I consider my own design background, like many designers, I started with the ‘physical’: editorial design, print, a passion for typography. But in my 10 years working at Without, I’ve found myself gravitating towards a digital focused output — somewhere I never saw myself when I joined. I think this comes from two places: the fact that as a designer I’m meticulous and craft-based; digital projects call for that eye for detail. And, more importantly, I want my work to matter. Digital projects seem to create measurable impact for clients in a way that print perhaps can’t.
London based coffee experts Caravan Coffee Roasters came to us looking for a functional e-commerce site to bring their successful wholesale business direct to the consumer. Whilst answering the fundamentals of the brief, we also helped bring the brand to life by evolving the site into an engaging day-to-day brewing tool, voicing Caravan’s expertise whilst celebrating the product and identifying a real-life customer need. And yes, admittedly somewhat egotistical, but I still use it myself.
Would I consider my main creative output to be digital? Yes, certainly. But would I title myself purely as ‘digital designer?’ – probably not.
Often, designers sit at either end of a spectrum: end-user focused UX/UI designers pushing best practice versus creatives pursuing big ideas and exciting visuals. Why pigeonhole? Designers should always question our profession. Be confident with the design work you do, but embrace taking your creativity into new territories. That’s how we innovate.
Working with brands who strive to challenge, and change, the status quo calls for an approach that questions traditional principles and looks at things differently. Whether it’s a website for a hospitality startup, or a tool for a global company looking to identify their future leaders – balancing logical user-centric thinking with new ideas is the way digital products can become part of the brand experience.
We are looking for an experienced mid-weight designer with a drive for bringing brands to life.
If you start with ideas, if you understand how to express difference, and you thrive working in a small team for clients who make things we can experience, this could be the role for you. Apply today