In the past ten to twenty years or so, the world of design has changed dramatically. Before, design was considered to be a more “corporate” artform. Essentially designers were seen as art students who desired to have a stable income. During the end of the 20th century, design was very much hands on and was very secluded, usually in a studio tucked away from the public eye. Logos, advertisements, and packaging were made but were rarely thought out with a distinct purpose. However with the rise of technological advancements around the turn of the century, design began to come out of the shadows and into both the public eye and the consumer and business’ life. The Internet created a cataclysm of corporations competing for the customer’s dollar. Although it was no longer who had the most money for commercials or print ads, but rather who knew and accessed their customer the best with a well-designed product or service. To stand out from the business mass, companies had to innovate and think differently. They had to think with design.
Design thinking is a newly formed and broad term. In a nutshell, it means to think of problems as systems and as whole organisms, but also to apply a methodology to solve the problem. That methodology is rich with conventional and unconventional research, creating ideas and potential solutions, judging them with set criteria, and implementing the final concept. The idea of thinking in a non-linear way, but rather in an all-encompassing way, is new to both designers and to the business world. Designers are now becoming a secret weapon of sorts that companies rely upon to help them stand out in the crowd. Design thinking is all around us, but often it is unseen. Examples of this could be seen in your hospital, a newly renovated retail store like JCPenney or Wal-Mart, or even at tech companies like Apple and Microsoft. Take a look next time you are in a store that you love. Think about all the thought that went into your consumer experience and engagement with the products and the company. If it is a great experience, more than likely design thinking is the creator.
With social media growing exponentially and the whole world is shouting all at once to be heard and to grasp your attention, it is up to this new way of thinking to ensure that a company can stand out amongst the madness and clutter. Designers are no longer tucked away in dark corners, but rather working side by side with business clients and partners. Being a design and social media marketing company ourselves; we are elated that the perception of design is changing. We hope that one day, the world is filled with beautifully designed objects and user-experiences, and that companies like ours are helping businesses make that happen.