14 June 2007

All is not well with the UK design industry

Be the first to share

Business pencil“The creative industries account for more than seven per cent of the UK economy. But many are now struggling in the face of unprecedented overseas competition. The contribution made by the UK design sector has halved since 2000, with the number of larger agencies falling by one third.”

These strong statements were part of a short text by NESTA, the innovation agency, on the need for entrepreneurship education for creative industries.

With the help of NESTA’s staff, I was able to found out more details.

The 2006 Creative Industries Economic Estimates bulletin, published by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has only data up till 2004. The publication shows that whereas the creative industries accounted for 7.3% of Gross Value Added in 2004 (as compared to 7.8% in 2000), only 0.5% of that comes from the design industry (a 50% drop from 2000, when the contribution was 1%).

The British Design Industry Valuation Survey 2005 to 2006 contains some further data:

  • 2006 turnover for the industry has seen a 6% fall on 2005 figures, from £4.6bn to £4.3bn, and a 36% fall on 2000 figures (£6.7bn)
  • Growth in 2006 has been in the mid-sized companies, suggesting that smaller, newer companies and freelancers are struggling.
  • Total fee income for the industry has fallen in 2005/2006 by some 16% from £4.0bn to £3.3bn, and by 34% as compared with 2000 (£5bn)
  • 2005/2006 employee numbers are down overall by 8.4% from 71,000 to 65,000, and a 21% fall on 2000 figures (82,000)
  • The growth in export income shows that design firms are becoming more reliant on winning business overseas to compensate for a shrinking volume of work in the UK.
  • The volume of employees in large agencies (the 50+ bracket) has fallen to account for just 38% of the total employment. Their total number went down from about 400 (in 2000) to 305 (in 2006).

Be the first to share
19 May 2016
Transition design as postindustrial interaction design
The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University has started talking about 'Transition Design.' In his long reflection about this new kind of design practice, Cameron Tonkinwise, CMU's Director of Design and Doctoral Studies, writes: Transition refers …
1 May 2016
Report: User Experience and Usability in Complex Systems
User Experience and Usability in Complex Systems Final Report 1/2015 FIMECC (Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster) November 2015, 225 pages Five years ago, some of Finland’s metals and engineering industry companies were looking for new ways to tackle …
30 April 2016
The Internet of Things needs design, not just technology
Scott A. Nelson and Paul Metaxatos write that, as B2C companies rush to exploit new IoT applications, pushing technology to potential end users no longer works. Increasingly, the pull of user experience will drive market …
24 April 2016
[Book] The Politics of Design
The Politics of Design: A (Not so) Global Manual for Visual Communication By Ruben Pater BIS Publishers May 2015 Many designs that appear in today’s society will circulate and encounter audiences of many different cultures and languages. With communication …
12 April 2016
The latest on innovation in Energy Efficient Buildings: annual round-up of EU Commission projects
Every year, the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) Public Private Partnership (PPP) publishes the EeB PPP project review - a round-up of energy-efficiency projects that have been co-funded by two European Commission schemes. This year, the print …
8 April 2016
Markus Giesler on customer experience design
At Experientia, we live the mantra that experience design is always contextual experience design. Understanding and designing for people within a culture, a context and how people evolve and change within these, is at the …
1 April 2016
Two appealing books by designer Robert Curedale
This morning we received two books by designer Robert Curedale (who seems to be an extremely productive writer): ​Comprehensive step-by-step Guide to Experience Maps Journey Maps - Blueprints - Empathy Maps Design Community College Inc. March 2016 400 pages Customers choose …
21 March 2016
Ford’s quest to remake itself into a master of UX
Ford, bastion of the old-school American economy, is now trying to recast itself as a company built around user experience. It’s finally trying to see its cars through the customer’s eyes. It's designing for them. Ford …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

23 May 2016
Experientia white paper: “Conducting clinical trials is about working with patients”

Patient-centricity is one of the defining issues facing clinical trials in the pharma industry. The past few years have seen a growing awareness by pharmaceutical companies of the importance of patient-centricity – but they have also illustrated that not everyone is clear on just what patient-centricity is, or how to achieve it. After using UX […]

12 April 2016
The latest on innovation in Energy Efficient Buildings: annual round-up of EU Commission projects

Every year, the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) Public Private Partnership (PPP) publishes the EeB PPP project review – a round-up of energy-efficiency projects that have been co-funded by two European Commission schemes. This year, the print and digital booklet design was done by Experientia, in particular by our talented visual and interaction designer Dohun Jang. Experientia […]

8 March 2016
Behavioral modeling – Shaping cultural change and behavioral evolution

One of the things we do here at Experientia that really sets us apart from other UX agencies is behavioral modeling. Our cognitive and behavioral models go beyond the standard customer journeys and personas (both useful tools, and often preliminary steps to behavioral modeling) to create frameworks that can be used to make people more […]

1 March 2016
Singapore’s main newspaper on Experientia’s design with the elderly

Arti Mulchand reports in the Straits Times, Singapore’s main newspaper, on Experientia’s “Design for Ageing Gracefully” project: Putting faces to end-users early in the design process is changing the way designers and organisations are approaching products aimed at Singapore’s growing elderly demographic. Experientia’s ethnographic study, which was commissioned by DesignSingapore Council in a collaboration with […]

18 January 2016
Experientia website completely reshaped

Experientia is pleased to announce that we’ve started 2016 with a brand new website. Experientia’s now officially 10 years old, and we decided that the best way to celebrate is by building a new website that showcases our growth – with new projects, new people in the staff, and two new locations in Lausanne and […]

1 January 2016
For when things get personal…
See all articles