Fast Company Wonders How to Measure the Worth of Design


An interesting story over at Fast Company, “No Accounting for Design?” about figuring out and somehow quantifying the rate of return on instituting inventive design. The story starts out about Chuck Jones, Whirlpool’s design chief, who had to take on the corporation’s heads to getting more novel looks and devices into their product lines, but the underlying theme of the piece is about the afformentioned discussion on ROI. We found it by way of MarketingProfs: Daily Fix, who also has a great essay in response to the story. Here’s a bit from Fast Company:

…designers themselves can’t agree on how to approach return on design–or even whether to. One camp argues that the surest way for designers to make manifest their capacity to drive corporate success is to bring objective business measurements into the process. A design solution might be technically masterful and aesthetically pleasing, but if you can’t quantitatively calculate its clout, you can’t claim its success. “If we don’t sort out the ROI, design will continue to be viewed with skepticism in many corners,” warns Rob Wallace, managing partner of Wallace Church Inc., a brand-identity consultancy.