“Corporate” Design


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Read an introspective piece by famed ex-Frog Design leader Robert Fabricant about the state of the design industry and the unease that he says many of his peers are feeling. While I disagree with some of the concerns he lays out around AI / diversity being the drivers of this unease, he makes a strong case for how this is a natural pendulum swing after years of seeing “Chief Design Officers” and design innovation groups added to many corporate giants.

I’ve had the privilege of working with very strong designers. This has helped me appreciate the value of design thinking as something that goes far beyond “making things pretty” and believe, wholeheartedly, that it’s something that should be more broadly adopted.

At the same time, it’s also not a surprise to me that during a time of layoffs and cost cutting, a design function which has become a little “spoiled” in the past years and of which calculating financial returns is experiencing some painful transition especially for creative-minded designers who struggle with that ROI evolution.

If Phase 1 was getting companies to recognize that design thinking is needed, Phase 2 will be the space learning how to measure, communicate, and optimize what the value of a team of seasoned designers brings to the bottom line.


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