I am going to keep this post short and sweet. To create impact as a designer, the answer is simple: know your audience. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. This is different from "I think my audience would like this." Nope. That is what you think, not what you know. The way you truly know your audience is ask them!
I recently was the graphic designer for an employee giving campaign. I sent out a small survey using survey monkey to only fourteen employees to test their knowledge of the campaign. Most of them didn't even know the basics of the campaign–such as that they could donate to ANY nonprofit and that the lab matched a portion, or even that the campaign existed.
Even thought this was a small sample, it significantly impacted design decisions. (Studies show testing only testing 5 people can give you dramatic results–so don’t think you need a massive budget for focus groups to get good info!)
The end result: We increased last years giving from 2.2 million to 3 million.
There were a lot of factors in this increase that also influenced people to give–a new giving tool, a new project manager on the campaign–an all out effort was made by everyone. Enthusiasm and change from how things had always been done? Yes, incredibly effective–thus, results achieved.
The project was also a finalist in the 2018 Adobe Government Awards.
In conclusion, by knowing what the audience didn't know, we could work our campaign to truly target the audience. How we did it? You can read more about the campaign here.