Responses by Kelsey Aroian, principal, Paladar Studio.
Background: The Design for Business Impact site is a library of design and business resources featuring rare case studies by all kinds of businesses, from multibillion-dollar companies to early-stage startups. Each case study covers how design has impacted the success of each business, including how Airbnb designs for inclusion and how Dropbox evaluates new business potential. The site is for designers and business folk alike: by open-sourcing case studies and actionable tactics from some of the best in the business, we aimed to help leaders effectively demonstrate the business impact of design and realize its potential as a strategic business partner.
This site was born out of a multicity event series where we invited top design leaders to present case studies where design moved the needle at their company. We could only accommodate 60 to 100 designers per event, so this site is really about packaging up the invaluable presentations that we’d heard and making them all open-sourced for the very first time.
Design core: We wanted to keep the core style of the recently redesigned Designer Fund website and brand, but also push on certain elements and aesthetics that can be fun. If you look around on the site, there are some cadences that we stuck to—such as not using any drop shadows—so that influenced some different interaction patterns that we would have normally designed. We also wanted to highlight other company’s illustration styles, such as Asana and Dropbox, so we chose to use those instead of creating our own art.
Favorite details: Some of the fun interaction moments and the features in the type system. Each element of type—the case, the size and the color—has its own place and reason for using it, apart from being styling. There are a few fun interactive pieces, too; for example, there’s a neat parallax scroll in the image gallery and a dollar sign waiting for you on hover of some text.
Challenges: There was a lot of information to go through. We were building off of a big video library of case-study presentations, so to make those more digestible, we created individual pages that have easily scannable metadata, written summaries for each of the talks and downloadable resources that you can print and use with your team.
Navigation structure: We were thinking a lot about discoverability throughout the design process. Users are more likely to click on cards, so we added funnel links that move them throughout pages like they’re reading a book rather than a main navigation on editorial-like pages.
Technology: We built the site on Contentful.