Design has tremendous positive power but is often used in a negative way. This is an area where not enough thought has been given in terms of its impact on the environment.

Time to include designers in decision making in large companies. We need to review the business strategies of companies in the world market. Design does not anymore come second to technology and marketing teams. It has become integral to these processes.

 “We have the wrong business model in place. We’re working at short-term gains instead of long-term. We are not thinking of the community.” Don Norman explains.

 Example of this is the mobile phone. Every 2–3 years customers are buying a new mobile device instead of a good one. The problem is a relentless pursuit of short-term profits for companies.

So what can designers do?

Daily designer’s job includes mockups, interfaces, applications, user tests — but if we really want to have impact on the business strategy then we have to show a clear understanding of the impact of design on the business.

Who is the customer? It is People. People from different countries who are using our product. In fact, that does not work in this way. If we are in a consultancy or design firm the customer is the client. The customer is our boss or more accurately the boss of our boss.

There must be a sufficient number of designers who rise to the point where they’re in the decision-making capability of any organization. We need to present them a spreadsheet in which we show: “if you do this here it will increase in sales, increase in profits, increase in margin and decrease in service costs”.

One does not need an MBA degree to be heard by the senior management, one needs knowledge in basic business tools that can make impact through spreadsheets with special focuses- Consumer, Problems that can come up, Think of design as a system and finally test it fully. A three- step strategy can be adopted, check-watch-modify.

Shoutout to Inês Araújo for the illustration

We have got to “Make the Thing”, but what’s the right thing, at the right time?

This is not a new discussion, but it’s one we need to keep alive. Design is about putting things into the world, but there are reasons to rethink the urge to give birth to new stuff. The world is filling up, and the more we solve for our user the more niche and narrowly useful stuff we create on our planet.

And it’s not just plastics – it’s digital products and services too, which are filling people’s lives with noise. Perhaps the best design is that which has considered what not to make? Making is valuable, but at the right time, in the right place, and at the right ethic to figure out when to say “yes” and importantly, when to say “no”.

We expect high standards from the world when it comes to diversity. The common narrative is that diversity strengthens design because we bring many perspectives to the table.

We’re doing well enough on gender, but what about other parameters, like socio-economic factors, culture, and differing levels of ability or physical impairment? Should we be trying harder? In many cases the immediate desire for cultural fit often blinds us from the long- term benefit of hiring someone different to us. In order to be more inclusive we need to start pushing our working norms to include all types of people in our teams, our ideas, our personas, , our design practice as a whole.