What is Business Design – and why is it the most important design job of the future?

John Oswald

Fjord’s business design director explains why applying design principles – and skills – to business is the next big thing for both industries (and maybe you too).

A cohort of expert designers last week chalked out in an excellent article, the jobs that will be needed in design over the coming years and decades, from Augmented Reality Designers through Fusionists, and Embodied Interaction Designers, via many others.

The article was of course based on the entirely reasonable premise that the world is changing fast around us and that businesses need to adapt and evolve rapidly to ensure nothing gets missed, and that they grasp the right opportunities.

Trouble was, most of the contributors missed possibly the most important design role that not enough people are talking about: Business Design.

In spite of brilliant examples across many industries of companies getting a whole lot of stuff right, for the most part, businesses and organisations still don’t really grasp the potential of what a design-led approach can do. Many people working today in large and not-so-large businesses still think of design as either a purely aesthetic profession, or even an advertising discipline, and not as a problem-solving mindset well adapted to helping companies with a host of practical, real-world challenges.

So before we start planning for future careers in new areas of design as our technologies and platforms hurtle forward around us, we need to consider carefully the importance of Business Design – and of recruiting Business Designers. And that’s the key role that’s missing in the article. Some agencies and consultancies are really starting to get this right, and it’s starting to become a bigger part of design education (not before time). But it’s not universal yet – and it should be.


Read the full article on Digital Arts

John Oswald

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