Justifying design to business
August 10, 2001
Ran across an interesting magazine:

"@issue:, a journal about the effective use of design in business. While design manifests itself in nearly every aspect of business, its contribution to the success and profitability of a company is often undervalued.  Through real-life case studies and tangible examples, @issue: examines design from a business point of view."

It's print design-/industrial design-oriented, but it's interesting to see how practitioners in another hard-to-quantify discipline are trying to make a business case for their work.

Among the better articles is an interview with Tom Peters, including these quotes:

"Because as most products work in the Six Sigma quality sense in ways that were  unimaginable a few years ago, this thing called design—and I refuse to call it the "soft side"—has become central to enterprise strategy. The success of Six Sigma has turned quality into a "commodity," so much so  that it is no longer the determining factor for which brand to buy."

and

"Q. Designers often claim that corporate executives think differently from them. Assuming there is some truth to that, why  do you think it is?

A. Because we are literalists. We're trained as engineers. We have MBAs. Because we still believe that business is a  reductionist activity, rather than a holistic activity."

Another interesting interview is with Business Week, editorial page editor Bruce Nussbaum, who argues "70  to  80% of Corporate America doesn't really know the value of design and isn't utilizing it properly, if at all" as well as corporate strategist James Moore about what business can learn from the process of design, and
Inc. Magazine's George Gendron on the need for corporate managers and designers to find a common vocabulary.

If you're interested in the magazine, the subscription is free. ::

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