A Seat at the Table

April 11th 2016

A great Monday-morning read from Jon Schlossberg (published 2 years ago):

I’m not saying design is unimportant—design is often critically important. I’m saying design doesn’t create real value. Design is a tool for multiplying real value and creating perceived value.

Doesn't this depend on the definition of design? Heh, like that will ever happen.

But design overall doesn't create any real value? It seems that, like all broad generalizations, this one can be nit-picked to death. It even looks like Jon might agree that a change of semantics would have made the argument more clear:

But: I won't lose the forest for the trees - the rest of Jon's post is fantastic:

Design can multiply utility that already exists, as it certainly did with the iPhone, but design isn’t the hero. Nevertheless, because design is the most outwardly evident aspect of a product, design often takes much undue credit.

It seems to me that designers can also be involved in the non-outward facing parts of a product that make it successful. Not a zero-sum game here.

I’ve slowly realized over many years that good design is a matter of talent, but great design is a matter of process, and this process is in direct conflict with the way most businesses are run.

Read the full post.

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