The opportunity is huge.
One of the problems I’ve seen with many design firms is their focus
on maintaining their edginess in a world of sanitized business-speak.
It’s hard to maintain that air of frenetic creativity when you start
trying to explain the advantage of good design using Porter’s 5 Forces
or its place within the Five P’s of the Marketing Mix. Unfortunately,
that is precisely what is needed.
In order to really provide inescapable value to businesses,
designers need to understand how to present design across the entire
product development lifecycle. Without that understanding, design
becomes relegated to the cool styling that gets added at the end to an
otherwise ordinary product. Good design should be part of every element
of the product development process, including challenging the design of
the process itself. The best way to do that is to enlist business
people, engineers, etc. and form a coalition, all of whom speak each
other’s language and understands how to cross-leverage & recombine
There may be a fear that somehow design will lose that inborn
(inbred?) sense of sophistication and "je ne sais quoi" that they have
worked so hard to cultivate, but there is also the very real
possibility that it will make design more accessible to the larger
business community that knows that they want it, but doesn’t know
precisely how to ask for it.
You can see why I’m excited by this comment. If there is, indeed, a market of the addition of business strategy and metrics to the presentation of design concepts, and this from a senior manager at the larger consumer electronics manufacturer, then I need to start getting my business plan in order to launch my services. [hopefully :)]