Design runs deeper than look and feel – it can help you decide what you do and how you do it.
What comes to mind when you think of design? Your last office makeover? Your business cards? Perhaps it’s the artwork on the last book or record you bought. Or the last room you saw Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen change. Yes, these are all examples of design, but are you just identifying design as a superficial feature, employed purely for aesthetic reasons, rather than as a rigorous process. If you are, there could be more to design than meets the eye.
Businesses only really get the best out of design when they view it as something of core strategic importance rather than a coat of surface gloss. Think less about, say, the logo on your website’s home page and more about why you have a website in the first place.
One of the best known examples of a business transformed by the strategic use of design is Apple Computer. The development of the i-Mac (the work of a team led by Briton Jonathan Ive), transformed Apple’s fortunes in the consumer and education markets. A fine creative achievement but, just as importantly, also a great advert for the design-aware management culture, led by returning CEO Steve Jobs, which enabled that creativity. Remember too that it wasn’t just about putting a brightly coloured shell around the same old computer, but about creating an improved user experience. Apple’s design process embraced every single component and the entire manufacturing process. (More @ Design Council)