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Design that works: Best Effect design finalists announced

The Best Effect category of the Best Design Awards celebrates design that really works.

Design, said Apple founder Steve Jobs, is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. Or, put in a commercial context, whether it helps a company make money.

The Best Design Awards’ “Best effect” category, whose finalists were announced this week, celebrates design which has produced a measurable effect on the success of a organisation or product – it might be productivity, staff engagement, sales growth, bottom line or customer experience.

This year’s crop of finalists includes: a packaging and branding redesign which turned around muesli range; an electricity company consumer interface which took Powershop to the top of Consumer NZ’s survey of energy suppliers for the third year running; and what happened when Jasmax forced bankers off their butts.

(Jasmax’ redesign of BNZ’s Queen St offices fostered collaboration and saved space by forcing staff away from their individual desks and instead getting them sharing workspaces.) 

Hubbards Amazing Muesli Range. Studio: Coats Design

Cathy Veninga, CEO of the Designers Institute of New Zealand, the award organisers, says the category shows the power of design to transform. 

“The best entrants not only demonstrate the most potent effects but also the best design processes.  They are imaginative and innovative [but they are also] grounded in user and customer reality.” 

Idealog picks a random selection of the Best Effect Award finalists.

?BNZ ‘YouMoney’ by BNZ Digital

The BNZ YouMoney app, designed using direct customer feedback particularly from young people, allows users to drag and drop the accounts they want to use onto their card, then change them again when they take their card on a different occasion. They can move their money easily with drag and drop, add their own pictures to make their banking look the way they want and search on their own terms. 

The outcome was a lift in share in the youth market by acquisition, increased retention and shifting of non-main bank customers to the BNZ

F&P Simplus by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare 

The result of thousands of design hours, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare were looking for a sleep apnoea therapy mask that was comfortable, well-sealed, as unobtrusive as possible, and didn’t fall off during the night. The Simplus, released towards the end of 2013 has had significant impact in terms of sales revenue and the growth of the business. So much so that the company has had to substantially expand production facilities to cope with demand. 

Home Hunter by Springload

Kiwibank worked with realestate.co.nz and web designers Springload to develop an app which brought together property listings and the sort of bank information people need when they are buying a house (instant loan pre-approval, mortgage calculators etc). There’s even a cunning sun finder thingy.

Home Hunter was New Zealand’s most-downloaded property app in May this year and has had 72,000 web users since launch. By automating loan applications and standardising credit risk assessment it has also reduced Kiwibank’s operating costs and improved workflow.

Home New Zealand by Inhouse

Since publishing company Bauer took the decision to contract out the design and layout of Home magazine to Inhouse in 2011, readership has increased 56% to almost 100,000. The bi-monthly is now the fastest-growing magazine in the country in readership terms.

See here for the full list of Best Effect Award finalists in this year’s Best Design Awards. Photos courtesy of Design Institute of New Zealand. 

Chief editor at Idealog, Nikki's a veteran in the journalism industry. A former lecturer at AUT University, she was the chief reporter at NZ weekly business publication The Independent and was deputy editor of Canadian publication Unlimited magazine.

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