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deep decorum

iterate faster and find better design solutions

With the help of data analysis and machine learning, design becomes accessible and more comprehensible. Research and design processes can be accelerated. Charts also create an alignment for teams and stakeholders within the design process.

map out your solution space

data science helps to define and visualize a solution space

1. choose the domain of your product or service

2. identify quality marker and constraints

3. map out pitch areas and sweetspots

the concept of decorum

“decorum” is a ancient communication principle which describes the appropriateness of a message for its intended purpose and context


Given the example, Peak-B and Peak-C might be a well established design stereotype or cliché. Out of fear of missing the right tone with the audience, these stereotypes are not challenged.

But by analyzing the whole solution space we may find an even better fitting global maximum: Peak-A.

example: University Branding

The data is based on an analysis of the worlds top 1000 universities (via QS World University Ranking, 2019). For this purpose, logos were visually analyzed with regard to the signets used (word mark, seal, coat of arms, etc.) as well as other attributes.

The graphs use conventional representation of statistics (PCA, UMAP, MDS).

1. Business Understanding

The first step is to clarify the goal and the desired result. This also includes values, target groups and stakeholders.


  • Goal: What is to be achieved?
  • What are your values: why what how?
  • Understanding users and requirements: Design Research
  • Stakeholder Research


  • Mission Statement

2. Definition

Based on the target group and the industry environment, a competitor analysis is carried out. From the problem definition, goals for communication are formulated and visual arguments are derived.

Market research initial overview 


  • Problem statement
  • Competition narrowed down
  • Communication goal defined
  • Visual argument (how the statement should be communicated)

3. Empirical exploration

What follows is a detailed analysis of the competition and the current market environment. In our example, the logos of the universities were first analyzed. It was collected whether they contain word marks, seals, coats of arms, etc. and what visual features they have (font, elements, characteristics).

Identify clusters and patterns (focus on USA and Europe)
interactive charts (Hover)

Competitor analysis
detailed insights into clusters


Check communication goals with cluster findings 

Visual Mapping (selection seals / coat of arms)
for legal reasons the logos are blurred here

Providing a sense of design space
(each point is expandable via mousehover)

Find your positioning
Discover the sweetspot


  • visualization of the Solution Space as charts
  • interactive graphs, with hover information
  • understand current trends
  • find positioning and (new) niche


  • faster and more comprehensive competitor analysis
  • visual insight at the push of a button
  • precisely targeted starting points for positioning
  • faster development of mood boards

4. Prototype & Draft

The communication goals and findings from the visual analysis serve as constraints (conditions) for the design. Visual exploration helps to avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate approaches from the beginning.


  • targetoriented designs
  • clear design solution


  • faster development
  • designs with higher accuracy

5. Test & Feedback

In the following step, the drafts are discussed with users from the target group and stakeholders. Misunderstandings or wrong readings should thus be further excluded. For universities in particular, it is important that the appearance can create identification.


  • valid feedback
  • possible and early points of criticism

challenges of design

Design must convey content in the right way. The choice of visual expression is constantly influenced by cultural, social and technological change . At the same time, design must meet the values and expectations of the target group, which are also changing .

The visual argument must therefore be right from two sides it must be currently coherent and it must be perceived as accurate by the target group.

why is decorum important?

importance of decorum

  • decorum is about creating appropriate, fitting, and effective communication
  • making sure your message is interresting for your audience
  • building trust and credibility with our audience

missing decorum

  • incorrect language or a misplaced style can turn people off
  • if you don’t fit the concept of “decorum”, you may be ignored by your audience
  • your brand may be seen as unprofessional

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