Robert Fabricant, who moved from design consultancy Frog to development consultancy Dalberg, writes that the business of design consulting is undergoing mass extinction. In a long article for Wired he presents the history of design consulting in three phases (digital change agents, innovation consultants and venture design) and says that we have now arrived in a fourth phase: one of mass extinction due to corporate takeover:
“Big corporations began to see UX as a critical corporate asset, not something to outsource to a third party design firm, who could end up working for your competitors the following year.” […]
“No one has been more aggressive in building design into their core capabilities than IBM, which is on track to grow their design team to 1,000 people, making them by most measures the largest design firm in the world. According to one friend they had 50 designers start the same week this summer. There are rumors that IBM offered a job to every single CMU grad this year in the interaction design program.”
Despite all this “in-sourcing”, independent design business remains essential for two reasons:
“The first answer comes back to YOU: the user and consumer. Design has had an outsized impact on your life in recent years, because designers are deeply committed to advocating for user needs / wants / desires in the face of corporate inertia. This gets much harder to do when designers are on the inside.
More importantly, design is increasingly critical to addressing issues that sit outside a single corporate mandate or organizational footprint.”
John Rousseau, executive director at design consultancy Artefact, disagrees.
“Our industry is certainly evolving, as it always has to address changes in business, technology and culture. Even as the pace of change has accelerated, the argument that consulting is in decline seems somewhat myopic — even for Silicon Valley. This line of thought places too much importance on the unique challenges of one geography (SF) and one sector (tech), assumes that design is easy to integrate within organizations at scale, and confuses the singular discipline of UX with design as a much broader, hybrid practice. Most of all, it underestimates the role that consulting plays and the business value it generates relative to cost.”
Our own recent business experience at Experientia very much confirms what Rousseau writes.
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.
100&Change is a MacArthur Foundation competition for a $100 million grant to fund a single proposal that will make measurable progress toward solving a significant problem. 100&Change will select a bold proposal that promises real progress toward solving a critical problem of our time. And it will award a $100 million grant to help make […]
Then we are interested in hearing from you. We have several positions available for talented UX/UI and service designers who are passionate about creating world-class user experiences. Please see the job descriptions on our website for more information, and send us your CV with a cover letter statement about yourself, your experience, and what UX […]
Experientia is proud to have been a key participant at the Roche Innovation Summit, held at Roche headquarters in Basel Switzerland on 19 June 2018. Themed “Transforming the Healthcare Experience Together”, the summit aimed to galvanize the Roche community around the future transformation of healthcare and diagnostics. With 800 attendees from Roche and Genentech global […]
Hai una startup? Hai mai pensato ai benefici che potrebbe trarre dal Design Thinking? Questa è l’opportunità per scoprirlo! DesAlps Workshop #2: Il Design Thinking per la tua startup! Giovedì 28 giugno 2018 – dalle 9:30 alle 17:00 @ I3P | Corso Castelfidardo 30/a, Torino —– Nell’ambito del progetto europeo DesAlps, un team di esperti […]
Experientia è lieta di invitare le piccole e medie imprese del territorio piemontese al: DesAlps Workshop #1: Il Design Thinking per le PMI Venerdì 18 maggio 2018 – dalle 9.00 alle 17.30 @ Rinascimenti Sociali | via Maria Vittoria 38, Torino Scopri i vantaggi che il Design Thinking può portare al tuo business per prepararvi […]