We drove aesthetics that would appeal to consumer’s senses.
Industrial Design has seen many changes in recent years as it continues to search out ways to deliver value for clients. First, we saw focus on the product itself. We drove aesthetics that would appeal to consumer’s senses. Then we added a ton of research and user experience into the mix. We started really engaging how the person buying the product was actually using the product. Then design got even smarter and we started adding manufacturing and materials knowledge to our tools in order to deliver robust products that would meet consumer expectations for durability. And now design is even going digital. Instead of just focusing on a product that needs to be designed, we are now designing the whole ecosystem around that product to provide consumers new experiences and information.
These are all good things. But somewhere along the way we lost touch with the business objectives of our clients. In a world where new product development must happen faster than ever and consumers expect to get everything they want at the price they want, our clients have had to innovate their business models to keep the pace. This means finding disruptive ways to reduce costs and leapfrog the competition. In the world of design we need to do the same. Yes, we can offer our clients high value solutions that deliver on all of the things above, but we should also look at our own business model and innovate where we can instead of just continuing to add services and charge more for them.
Every market can be disrupted and design is no different. As things continue to get more digital and our clients have to keep the pace, we are going to have to pay attention to how we meet lead time expectations. How do we more effectively scale up to meet increased project demand and provide excellent service? How do we offer a good value at a reasonable price? These are all things designers will need to think about to insure design does not get relocated to the “commodity section” of the newspaper instead of the front page!