Designers, whether focused on web, print or products, have traditionally been viewed as the creative force of a company, contained to the studio and with user experience, as opposed to business processes, in mind. However, today’s designers do much more than make things look pretty; designers contribute a viewpoint based on different priorities than, say, those of the CEO, which can positively impact the bottom line. In this way, the role of the designer is evolving and design should be valued in a company as a way of thinking rather than just an output.
With companies such as Apple, where usability and design drive nearly every business decision, seeing incredible success and market command, the concept of designer-as-business-partner is increasing in popularity. With the role of design in companies changing, it opens the door to more opportunities for designers in today’s business environment. A recent article by Fast Company featured 50 of the top “CEO and designer duos,” highlighting those companies that have brought designers into the boardroom to make decisions traditionally left to marketing teams or executives.