The answer is yes.

Businesses in all shapes and sizes rely on design to progress, whether it’s delivering parcels or manufacturing medical devices; design is a crucial component.

Design makes products more functional, attractive, efficient, accessible and responsible.

The mobile phone is the most common example. When they first hit the mass market, around the time of the millennium, calling on the go, texting and playing snake blew us away.

Mobile Evolution: what a great change since the early 90s

Fast-forward 15 years and its innovation through design that has allowed a phone to include a HD camera, Internet, music player and countless apps, all of which were improved with design.

The same goes for a business of any size, improving the product or service that you provide through innovation and design can bring you from a position of lagging behind to being a front-runner. The Nokia 3310 was great in its day but innovation and design have given us the iPhone 6, which is the phone of its day. In the competitive world of business it is of great importance to move forward, to be fresh.

The mobile market is an interesting example; it shows us that Apple, a design-orientated company can quickly shift a once market leader like Nokia down the pecking order.

If it isn’t broken don’t fix it

There aren’t many objects that look the same now as they did when they were first created, and it’s a safe bet that what is the norm in 2018 will have changed in another five years. Car models are constantly given a facelift but internal parts are only changed every few years.

The phrase “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it” doesn’t apply to designers, they are a rare breed who seek perfection. It’s that approach that gives the consumer fantastic products. To really move forward in business it is imperative to take design seriously.

When a product or service is looking a little worse for wear, what factor do you think they compete on? That’s right, price. Research from the Design Council found that two-thirds of companies who disregard design are forced to compete on mainly on price. In companies where design is prioritised, just one-third do so. So, it stipulates – based on research – that good design makes the best sense economically.

Consumers are prepared to pay more for exceptional design. Basic speakers by low-end companies are mundane in design, constantly in a battle for lower prices. On the other hand, beautifully crafted counterparts such as Bang and Olufsen command much higher prices, due to superior design and quality; brands are built on innovation.

Design impacts life by finding solutions to problems

It’s not only gadgets that design has a major effect on. Items that we often take for granted such as, the shower, lighting and clothing have drastically been enhanced; we could all be wearing togas had somebody not designed a tee-shirt.

Design impacts life by finding solutions to problems, often problems that weren’t even considered problematic; innovation doesn’t rest in the continuous quest for improvement.

Remember, only one business can be the cheapest; the rest need design.

7 September 2018