A guest post by Jae Xavier from KnowledgeCity.com

My best time for running 2 miles is 10 minutes and 13 seconds. But before that, I did it in 15 minutes and 45 seconds. It took me 4 weeks to get that low.

I improved by monitoring and adjusting:

  • Arrival times at certain waypoints
  • Running strike (toe vs. mid)
  • Bursting interval (burst on the last waypoint)
  • Breathing pattern (deep vs. shallow)
  • Cadence

I consistently drove my times down by a minute or more each week because I knew the intricacies of the route and of myself.

So how does my experience relate to you designers?

In the Information Age, obviously information flows freely. And in that flow information can take on the form of words and even visual art. Information is aggregated, channeled, packaged, repackaged, socialized, and consumed.

Here is an example flow of information:

After posting your artwork on your website it gets…

  • Searched by Google, Yahoo, and Bing
  • Gets Tweeted by curious web surfers
  • Tweeters see the Tweet
  • Gets Tweeted again by there 2000+ followers and their 2000+ followers
  • Then someone emails to their friend
  • Then it gets forwarded to other friends
  • Spreads on FaceBook
  • Blogged about by art aficionados which gets sent out by an RSS feed
  • And finally someone sees and prints your design on t-shirts without your permission and makes a lot of money

From a designer’s context, when you follow and monitor this flow you’ll begin to ask questions (after all humans are curious).

  • Where does the information go?
  • How does my design get spread and consumed?
  • What is their reaction?
  • How do they feel about the design?
  • What brought visitors to your client?
  • What design elements are they attracted to?
  • Is the design understandable?
  • Will they come back for more?
  • Is it popular?
  • Is my client seeing favorable results?
  • How does my design fare against their competitors or even my competitors?

Why is this important? Because it tells you what is or what’s not working. Just measuring revenue is not enough.

Information can be monitored especially on the web. And in each sector, market, and industry there are sets of metrics that determine successes and failures. Find out what metrics matter to your client when you consult them. Then you can draw out what metrics relate to what design elements.

If you are not doing this already, start now. AND if your client is not doing this already, it will make your job an up hill battle because the Attention Age is upon us. If you’re designs are not capable of getting attention, you’re more likely to fail.

About Jae – he has intense interests in art and business. He has founded KnowledgeCity.com, an online education company for the general market. Jae has been a designer of all sorts for 15 years, runs two other business, and has never been to college.”