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Design industry shifts focus towards strategic thinking

Strategic Design Shift
Strategic Design Shift

Significant changes are taking place in the design industry with a growing emphasis on strategy, indicating a potential operational evolution.

This shift suggests a move from an aesthetic-focused approach to one that incorporates more strategic thinking into the design process.

Such transformations could reshape the role of designers, requiring them to work more collaboratively with marketing, research, and operations teams.

The design profession continuously adapts based on societal changes, expanding to include roles such as digital designers, product designers, and experience designers.

New roles such as virtual reality designers, augmented reality designers, and blockchain designers have started to emerge, highlighting the evolving nature of design professions and the importance of adaptability and continuous learning.

Moreover, societal perception of design professions has dramatically shifted, with design now deeply understood for its problem-solving capabilities and its role in enhancing user experiences.

The expansion of the design industry has influenced education, with many institutions offering extensive design programs that cover traditional aspects of design and new fields like interface design, user experience design, and human-centered design.

The term ‘strategist’ is becoming increasingly popular within the design industry, with many branding agencies emphasizing strategy over design.

A well-crafted strategy forms the backbone of a design, guiding its direction and ensuring that the final output aligns with business goals.

Sarah Hromack, a digital strategist, recognizes the role strategy plays in ensuring projects are backed by solid and meticulously researched ideas.

Strategic thinking reshaping design industry

She argues that incorporating strategic considerations into design improves operational execution and leads to a more robust project.

This advancement raises questions about the relationship between design and strategy and whether the rise of strategy means a decrease in the importance of design or if it’s just a response to evolving business needs and digital progression.

The success of a business hinges on harmonizing design and strategy alongside digital enhancements, with strategy seen as a catalyst encouraging design to evolve and adapt in the face of digital progression.

Jarrett Fuller, an assistant professor of graphic and experience design at the North Carolina State University, agrees with these insights and brings a unique multi-disciplinary perspective to his work.

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