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The Value of Design

Design—good design—is not cheap. You would be better served to spend your money on something else if you don’t place a high value on what it can achieve. There’s a view in Buddhism that there’s no “good” karma and no“bad” karma, there’s just karma. The same can’t be said for design. Karma is a universal condition. Design is a human act (which often affects conditions) and, therefore, subject to many variables. When the word “design” is used here, it is always in the context of good design.

A lot of famous people have written many famous books on the importance of design and creativity. The subject matter ranges from using design and creativity to gain a strategic advantage or make the world a more livable place—and more. Much more. The focus here is on how to make the process of design work in the business environment so that the end product lives up to its potential. We live in a time of sensory assault. Competing for “eyeballs”— which is to say, customers—is more than just an internet phenomenon. The challenge for companies everywhere is to attract consumers to their products and services and keep them in the face of fickle markets.

The answer to this challenge starts with each company’s people, products and services, but it doesn’t end there. How companies communicate to their markets and constituencies is becoming the primary means of differentiation today. Never, in fact, has effective communication been more important in business. And it has increased the pressure within companies to establish environments and attitudes that support the success of creative endeavors, internally and externally. More often than not, companies that value design lead the pack.