Please see below selected recent design-related change.
- At a time when satellite-powered navigation apps on our phones can tell us exactly where to get on, transfer, and get off public transport maps still play an important part. They’re not just functional guides - they can become instant icons of a metropolis, akin to the weight of a seal or a flag, depicting a city’s breadth, vitality, and local character, at a glance, according to Quartz.
- A designer made over US $100k via a single tweet that showcased his minimalist iPhone icon designs.
- The UN partnered with WHO to launch the Global Call Out To Creatives: an open competition for creatives, to design work that conveys essential information about COVID-19. Entrants are encouraged to interpret the UN’s basic guidelines and messages - around symptoms, social distancing, personal hygiene and more - in a visually engaging way. The initiative is also urging designers to make their work particularly relevant to specific cultures and communities around the world, to make the guidelines especially compelling to those groups. The organisations are shortlisting submissions on a rolling basis, and ensuring they all contain accurate information before disseminating them publicly. Brands are also participating and lending their media space to give visibility to the creative works.
- Companies that excel at design grow revenues and shareholder returns at nearly twice the rate of their industry peers. A McKinsey survey found that some 90% of companies weren’t reaching the full potential of design, even as, in the past five years, double the number of companies have added senior design roles to their organisation and the fact that research shows that bold, design-led, user-centric strategies correlate strongly with higher financial results.
- Further reading:
- Most people know examples of bad product and service design: the USB plug (always lucky on the third try). The experience of rushing to make your connecting flight at many airports etc. However, wee also all know iconic designs, such as the Swiss Army Knife, the humble Google home page, or the Disneyland visitor experience. All of these are constant reminders of the way strong design can be at the heart of both disruptive and sustained commercial success in physical, service, and digital settings. McKinsey studied the best design performers increase their revenues and shareholder returns at nearly twice the rate of their industry counterparts.
- Two almost-simultaneous trends - the rise of millennials and the rise of Asia - have given new direction to the fashion world. Quartz distilled that world down to a "master list" of experts you can consult when wanting to stay on top of the latest developments. From Instagram influencers to Wall Street analysts, a tool kit will make sure you remain current on what’s au courant, according to Quartz.
- Further reading:
- In The expanding role of design in creating an end-to-end customer experience, McKinsey argued that the lines between products, services, and user environments are blurring. The ability to craft an integrated customer experience will open enormous opportunities to build new businesses.
- So how do companies deliver exceptional designs, launch after launch? What is design worth? To answer these questions, McKinsey conducted what it believed to be (at the time of writing) the most extensive and rigorous research undertaken anywhere to study the design actions that leaders can make to unlock business value.
- Billed as a set of tools for innovation, design thinking has been enthusiastically and, to some extent, uncritically adopted by firms and universities alike as an approach for the development of innovative solutions to complex problems. But scepticism about design thinking has now begun to seep out onto the pages of business magazines and educational publications, according to the Harvard Business Review.
- For HBR, the main problem is that design thinking is, at its core, a strategy to preserve and defend the status-quo and privileges the designers above the people they serve, and in doing so limits participation in the design process. In doing so, it limits the scope for truly innovative ideas, and makes it hard to solve challenges that are characterised by a high degree of uncertainty, like climate change, where doing things the way we always have done them is a sure recipe for disaster.
- Why is design important, asked The School of Life? Partly because poorly designed things slow us down and sadden us - the stapler that doesn’t work, the bag of walnuts that doesn’t open, the TV remote control that is impossible to figure out. All are symbols of miscommunication and lack of empathy. Bad design is also depressing given the price it exacts on the planet.
- The Global Village Construction set, developed by a network of "farmer-scientists", provides small communities with a growing range of machines that can help them start to build off-grid micro-civilisations from scratch.