I can't get enough with these clickbait titles. I want to perfect them so that you can get in and read my AMAZING content. In this post I will explain you how there is the rise of a new creative class that is meant to take over every aspect of society.
OK - Let's go down memory lane.... once upon a time, when the first iPhone was released in 2007, I remember being at University as assistant professor at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (FADU) and the head of staff just came back from Miami, and in between his rants about how it is a city without culture and how easy it is to just arrive there with some street art project of sorts and make it, he also came with a little 3.5-inch screen device called an iPhone.
As a nerd that he was, he was fascinated by it, and said to me something I will never forget.
"From now on, design problems are going to be logical problems, problems of interaction, not aesthetics."
He was insanely right. At the moment, websites and motion graphics were all the rage, and the term UI-UX designer did not even exist. My students were struggling printing slides from Photoshop and Illustrator, and I was hot-stuff just because I was doing 3D motion graphics using the cloner with Cinema 4D.
As I developed my career in Europe, I started to see with time, more and more a couple of terms that became more and more popular. One was User Interface and User Experience designer. In the beginning I thought they were only fancy names for website designers.
How much has the web and mobile market exploded that designers started to become more and more part of the hierarchy of organizations big and small. Gathering importance as they started to solve bigger and more complex interaction problems. And because one could argue that form follows function, those that managed to enhance the UX via fantastic and delightful UI were growing stronger, becoming essential parts of these startups and corporations.
Nowadays, we have rising stars "Chief Design Officer" - "Chief Creative Officer". And those designers that managed to cross-pollinate creative problem solving with creating business value, from an agency and also within every aspect of the value chain, start to prove their value more and more.
A new term also that surfaced at that time was "Design Thinking" a problem solving methodology that was popularized by IDEO that came as a sort of productized framework to solve problems from product to service placing the user at the center of the problematic.
Problems, problems, problems...
Designers are problem solvers, and those that can properly articulate, propose and build solutions, will sooner or later will be transitioning more into higher leadership roles. Sooner or later designers will start replacing engineers and business executives as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and that will be the dawn of a new era for humanity: global warming will revert, wars will stop and the world will finally transform into a better place.
A 2019 McKinsey study found that companies with strong design capabilities outperform their peers on financial metrics by 32%. (Yes Mr. Consultants!) A 2020 study by the Design Management Institute found that design-led companies were more likely to report innovation success, revenue growth, and customer satisfaction. Finally a 2021 study by the Boston Consulting Group found that companies with CEOs who have a strong design background are more likely to outperform their peers on both financial and non-financial metrics. - some of these papers can only be accessed via subscription, we will have to trust Google Bard for its word.
- Jony Ive, the former Chief Design Officer of Apple, is widely credited with helping to make Apple one of the most successful companies in the world.
- Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, is a former designer who has instilled a design-centric culture at his company.
- Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet (Google's parent company), is a former design engineer who has overseen the development of some of the most popular products and services in the world.
These are just a few examples of designers who have achieved success in leadership roles. As the world becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, the skills and mindset of designers are becoming increasingly valuable. As a result, it is likely that we will see more and more designers rising to the top of the corporate world in the years to come.