Friday, December 30, 2011

Management and the use of design

Design as a discipline is an important link within the organization. Those organizations that succeed through winning strategies engage strong fundamentals in marketing, finance and production. Each of these three fundamental business activities ultimately will be improved through design. Design is a word that has different context’s, it seems apt that a clear set of definitions is offered so the reader can draw proper conclusions about how design can be integrated into the business model. Achieving success can be supported in a variety of ways with a commitment to design as an essential aspect of driving performance to a higher plateau.
Design as Utility
Design as a visual application brought to a standard that is representative of an organization’s identity and prepared for distribution to target audiences. This includes the traditional approach to design management and everything that falls from that management discipline. Design traditionally has been used within organizations to effectively communicate to both internal and external audiences through a suite of marketing tools. A finely tuned organization will make an investment that ensures their expression through design is unique and differentiates from the competition.
A consideration to standardizing all design outreach with an approach that is original and cuts through to the organizations key constituents and audience’s is fundamental to effective design. Design is leveraged by the organization through a commitment to raising the utility of communications products based on strong design standards. Design as a utilitarian function is a baseline requirement for remaining competitive today.
Design as Ideology
Design as ideology within an organization introduces greater emphasis then design as utility. Ideology generally is set from the organization leadership and is extended throughout the organization as a central focus rather then departmentalized or delegated to a lower level. Generally organizations that embrace design have buy in among all levels. Everything the organization stands for including its legacy to present day milestones support the organization position with design as central to those accomplishments. Organizations that adopt ideology based on design will also engage leading design management principles to ensure their offering meets exceptionally high standards supported by their unique suite of communications tools and related outreach products. A core construct of the organizations identity though is based on design as a competitive position. Design ideology is seen as a character attribute or part of the organizations ethos with design integrated as a focal point of any offering or experience along the customer journey.
Design as Access
A clear difference in design exists between design for esthetic value and design that is based on making information accessible or meaningful. These two thoughts are not mutually exclusive for successful design and combining the two will maximize designs effectiveness. Critical thinking about how to achieve pathways to understanding and structure information in ways that reduce uncertainty or complexities that limit anxiety for the audience is an important function of design. Moreover, design that is developed for accessibility has many benefits for society. Access will support higher levels of learning and knowledge for improved understanding. Design for access ensures the reader a meaningful experience that raises the design value especially in an digital era with people becoming highly attuned to governing their personal level of information based on the need to filter vast amounts of content daily. Designers play a vital role toward offering solutions according to those preferences, solutions based on making complex content easy to understand and designing for audiences in such a way that demonstrates empathy.
Design Thinking
Design thinking is a management procedure and logic applied to the development of original ideas and innovation. A process based management construct that has gained considerable attention among academia and the business world alike. Management today is seeking to innovate and compete. Organizations continue to rely on traditional management methods based on reliable practices or the science of management. Design Thinking offers additional methods in support of improved organization practices. Design Thinking management provides a method for creation of a better road map forward in support of original ideas and innovation. The design thinking procedure places emphasis on the traditional steps and tactics designers implement to achieve outcomes and connect the dots that are generally considered original, innovative and out of the box. Design Thinking can be defined as a distinctly new management framework, evolved from the practice of design utility. Design thinking as a management process coopts all the related techniques and innovations underlying the traditional design practice in turn design thinking offers those within organizations a way forward to support growth and innovation.

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