Startup with design!
As a Startup founder, you are always looking for ways to make your product or service more appealing to your Users. Too Many Startups fail very early. Some Startups burn all their money and others find that the problem they thought that they were solving just does not exist. For the past three years, John Maeda has compiled what he has called the "Design in Tech Report" This report puts some statistical information behind the use of design within the tech industry. According to LinkedIn in 2017 between Amazon Google and Facebook grow their designer's headcount by about 65%. This is a staggering example of growth. Maeda outlines three types of design: classical, Design thinking and computational design with most of the value driven by the last two.
Large consulting firms such as Accenture have been on a massive expansion plan for a number of years acquiring design agencies around the world. Accenture understands the benefits of design for design and how it is the key driver for creating great customer experiences. These acquisitions by Accenture are only the tip of the iceberg. Many more firms have seen buying up creative agencies as a necessary part of an expansion. Last year there were 21 acquisitions of creative agencies or start-ups that were founded by Designers. This is only one area where the Tech report highlights the growth of design.
Design for health
Another area included in the report is the medical sector, particularly medical schools. They see the benefits of giving their med students the user centred skills of design thinking. Students gain a fundamental skill set in how to empathise with users or patients. Healthcare is an area in much need of the user-centred approach to design.
Another area that is expanding in the area of conversations design. Until I read the report I had never heard of this area. I think we have all had some fun talking to Siri, but where is this tech going and how is it developing. I only have a surface knowledge of this area. The one thing I do know is that there has been some rapid growth in the area. Not in the report but definitely worth an inclusion in the recent Google io show where they introduced their progressions with voice. To put the Ai (Artificial intelligence) or Duplex as they call it through its passes the presenter showed the process of the booking of a table at a restaurant. The Ai was able to book a table at the restaurant through its conversations with the restaurant employee.
What has the tech world both scared and excited at the same time is how real the conversation between the Ai and the employee was. The main reason for this was how real the Ai sounded. It was able to fool the person on the other side of the phone, the employee. From my experience of using voice tech like Siri, I expected it to sound like a robot. Not true at all. I was completely wrong. It was able to pause itself if the employee of the restaurant did not have the date available and respond if the Employee offered an alternative date for the booking. Google state that these few second pauses are where the Ai uses its algorithms to respond with a different answer.
This area is moving so fast that the need for people to be on the other end of the phone may also be a thing of the past. booking a table really could be just adding a date to a piece of software. There does not need to be a human present for this to be done.
I don't think Skynet is going to take over anytime soon. And I don't think you have to worry if your name is John Conner, but these advances in Artificially intelligence are really moving fast. The tech report highlights many areas of design and related areas. One section of the reports stated that 88% of Designers surveyed believed that it will be at least 5 years before visual Designers are replaced. That is a large proportion of Designers. I was a little surprised at the amount. I think maybe they will be able to replace the designer in some of the processes of visual but not the whole job. There are many factors that human designers bring to a design project partially the human trait of empathy. At this moment in time Ai just won't be able to put themselves in another humans shoes. Part of the process of design, for example, an identity project is emersion.
A designer will emerge him or herself in the business or organisation that they are creating the identity for. They will talk to staff, customers all the stakeholders to get a sense of the brand personality. There just is no way that Ai can do this. As designers, we have those serendipitous moments during projects. These can happen anywhere, form the shower to eating with our kids or out for a morning run. These creative moments are embedded in our DNA, our human culture passed down through the generations. So really what I feel is that is my just be more of the outputs that the artificial intelligence will create.
These reports are great reads and continue to highlight the benefits of design year in year out.