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3.b 2/2: Measuring and communicating the value of design
Convincing a conservative business executive or the management of a public sector department about the value and necessity of design, is not a task for the faint hearted. Although design has become synonymous with innovation, a tool for good leadership and is seen as a critical factor in the success of many high performing organisations, it is still considered by many as a luxury that comes at the expense of stakeholder resources and speed to market. Many organisations must still be persuaded to employ design. Design strategy, or the politics of design, is emerging as a critical issue required to overcome the powerful forces that often inhibit the implementation of good design. Some organisations have attempted to measure design, but it is still an inconclusive practice. How do we make design impact, visible and measurable? How do designers convince decision makers of the tangible and enduring benefits of good design? How do you know that your work is having the desired impact?
9:00am - 9:25am
The semantics of design and why they matter
The University of Queensland, Australia
Understanding the value of design in industry is a contemporary issue both in academia and industry. Many studies have been conducted using historic data, macro-level indicators, questionnaire-based tools, and abstracted post-hoc accounts of the value of design. However, very little research attempts to uncover direct insights from real-world practical experiences of designers in industry and how they negotiate design-value space. This study uncovers rich qualitative, pragmatic considerations of how the value of design is operationalized in situ by design practitioners in industry through a series of 6 in-depth interviews. Initial results indicate that different designers undertake a series of different context-dependent strategies: these range from from changing the narrative of the contribution of design based on the KPIs of the audience, to taking a non-action stance allowing for consequences and pressure from external stakeholders to help drive design in practice, as well as performing “designer-ly” activities under a different alias.
9:25am - 9:50am
Communicating the Value of Design: Design Considerations to Assist Practitioner Rationale in FMCG Packaging Development
Loughborough University, United Kingdom
A product’s packaging design is often produced through the practical application of tacit knowledge, rule of thumb and professional connoisseurship. Stakeholders are increasingly demanding that designers provide clarity of reasoning and accountability for their design proposals. Therefore, a better framework for the design of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) is needed. This paper proposes a taxonomy of ‘design considerations’ for the development of low involvement FMCG packaging to aid in rationale communication for design solutions. 302 academic sources were reviewed, and inductive content analysis performed to code topics, then validated with academic and industry experts (n=9) through modified-Delphi card sorting method. The research provides movement towards a comprehensive framework and common ground for discussion between stakeholders, practitioners and managers to assist in communicating the value that design can offer to FMCG. The constructed taxonomy provides a set of 156 ‘design considerations’ to support practitioners in objective and informed design decision-making.
9:50am - 10:15am
Do Beautiful Stores improve Product Evaluation?
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Retail designers often emphasize the importance of creating stores that consumers will find attractive. This paper challenges that commonly held view, presenting empirical results from a field experiment showing that a positive rating of a store interior does not affect the product rating to the degree expected. This paper proposes a method for measuring spillover effects, which ordinarily take place without conscious attention. The method was applied in an experiment where 50 shoppers were asked to rate six fashion products in three differently designed stores. Respondents were asked to rate stores and products from within the stores. Any discrepancy between the in-store ratings can be interpreted as the influence of the store design. Results indicate measurable spillover effects from store design to product preference. Surprisingly, however, only one of the three stores showed a significant correlation between the respondents’ highest product rating and store preference.
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