The growing importance of Design

It’s happening slowly, but surely. Design is becoming news. Take the example of Facebook’s recently redesigned Profile pages. Huge news both for the users of the site as well as the developers Facebook is trying to court. The design decisions made in and around the profile are paramount to the future of Facebook, who is […]

It’s happening slowly, but surely. Design is becoming news.

Take the example of Facebook’s recently redesigned Profile pages. Huge news both for the users of the site as well as the developers Facebook is trying to court. The design decisions made in and around the profile are paramount to the future of Facebook, who is trying to find a solid revenue model while at the same time trying not to drive people away with fake recommendations and too much noise in their news feed.

This isn’t just news for geeks, either. They’re writing about it at the New York Times. The L.A. Times. A software upgrade is now news? Absolutely.

Take the wrangling around social networking data portability, with Google and MySpace and Facebook and others trying to provide the system by which we share our social information. The futures of these companies is tied to the design decisions they’re making.

Take the contrast between Microsoft’s new Vista operating system and Apple’s OS X. 5 years since MS upgrades their OS and they actually deliver one that people like less than the older one. Talk about a design failure.

Take the monumental leap forward for mobile phones that is the iPhone touch screen. A single, well-designed product completely rewires the global mobile phone market in a matter of months.

All of these things are huge news, and all of them are design-related.

It wasn’t so long ago that design wasn’t news. It was something that “creatives” with black-rimmed glasses did.

Now design is the big differentiator. Executives talk about innovation, synergy, value….whatever. The buzzwords don’t matter.

Welcome, Design, to the conversation.

Published: June 6th, 2008

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