Design Practices

How Design Practices Shift by Industry

Last updated on June 23rd, 2022 at 04:28 am

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When you think of the word ‘design,’ what comes to mind? Graphic design, artwork, that billboard you saw on the freeway — these are all common areas of design that you may consider. But the truth of the matter is, the design is all around us. From that sleek website you’re on right now to the place you call home, a design process goes into many different facets of our everyday life. Given how design is all around us at all times, you may not even realize it. But if you really start to pay attention to the world around you, then you’ll start to notice how design is involved in a lot more areas of life than you originally thought.

As people design stuff every single day, a design process is involved in tons of different industries. But while each industry has its own design best practices, there are some common design elements that can apply to almost any industry.

In this post, White Peak Digital discusses how design practices shift by industry, and we’ll also touch on what design best practices apply to almost any organization.

Where the Shift Happens

While the design has some common elements that are present in many industries, it’s common for each industry to have its own set of best practices. In fact, design best practices can even change drastically from one business to the next, while both being in the same industry. But when comparing design in one industry to design in another, where does the shift happen? Keep reading to learn what considerations come into play:

Target Audience

When designing, the process is typically done to create a product/service for a customer or a certain type of audience. However, given how everyone is different with varying likes, dislikes, and preferences, it’s vital that your design is geared towards the right individual. For example, if you’re building a website for an engineering firm, the site design will look far different compared to a website built for a funeral home. While industries all have different target audiences, it’s very important to aim your design elements at the right people.

Line of Business

Similar to the last point, design best practices certainly change for every line of business. For example, if a UX designer is working on building an e-commerce website, including another site for a digital marketing agency, the design process and best practices may look very different. While the site for the agency may need to be clean and have simple navigation, the e-commerce site may need tons of drop-down menus, specific functionalities, and different elements that are suited for the user.

Products/Services Offered

Another reason why design changes in each industry is because different products and/or services are being offered. For example, if you look at a website that sells kid toys, then a site that sells men’s shoes, you’ll notice design elements that are completely different from one another. From the color choices and logos to the way the content is displayed on the screen, a meticulous design process goes into crafting these website pages that are geared towards the right audience.

Where There’s Overlap

While every industry may have its own best practices, there are some common design elements that many industries share. Check out some common design elements that are important in many areas of business:

User Experience

While the design isn’t always focused on the user, a good user experience tends to be a common goal for many organizations. Think about the last website you visited. While this site maybe had tons of useful knowledge, you probably remembered what the site looked like and how it made you feel. And this is common for the average person. That being said, almost every industry will consider user experience as the number one priority when designing something.


For the most part, people want simplicity when it comes to design. Just think about those billboards you saw off the freeway on your drive earlier. Chances are, there was minimal text, minimal colors, and simple design elements. That’s because drivers are quickly glancing at these billboards as they drive by. But the same works for a website. Users want to scan through them and be able to easily digest the information. The simplistic design is almost always a priority in many industries.


Yes, this is the same type of balance you learned in the 5th-grade art class. Although it isn’t the case for all industries, most organizations strive to have balance in all of their designs. From the balance in building construction to balance in website development, this is a common design element that is almost always a huge priority. Think of UX design for example. As the goal may be to build a user-friendly app or website, almost all design elements should be balanced. From the drop-down menus to the color choices, the most successful websites are ones that have a balanced feel. That being said, balance in design is a top priority for industries around the globe.

While design practices certainly change when looking at different industries, it is very common for industries to have a similar design process. But above all else, the design should always be focused on user experience. Check out UXPin design tools to see user experience design in action.