Saturday, January 19, 2008

Design Council research reveals secrets of successful design in Microsoft and Yahoo

Design success in top firms ...

"Design plays a fundamental role in the success of many of the world’s leading companies. But how do those firms ensure that they are getting the best return on their investment in design? To find out, Design Council researchers visited the design departments of eleven companies, all world-leaders in their fields and all with a public commitment to the use of design to improve their brand strength and product and service offerings.

The study looked at the way design is used in these firms, how designers work with staff from other disciplines and how the design process is managed to deliver consistently successful results. How is design managed across complex, global, product and brand portfolios, we wanted to know. So we asked leading design teams how they select and organise their designers, and when they bring designers into the product or service development process. We also wanted to find out what skills today’s designers need in order to succeed.

From this in-depth examination we aimed to draw out some of the key features that define the state-of-the-art in modern design practice, as well as the unique approaches that set some firms apart. Called ‘Eleven Lessons: managing design in eleven global corporations’, the research was made possible through unprecedented access to 11 senior design teams including Yahoo, Microsoft, BT, BSkyB, Alessi, Sony and Virgin Atlantic.

Microsoft, the world’s leading supplier of operating system software, has completed a significant evolution in its attitudes to design. Having once been a technologically-driven organisation, Microsoft now uses design thinking to focus on developing products that answer users’ needs. With management support, this focus on user-experience is also influencing Microsoft’s organisational structure and culture.

Yahoo! has grown from a pioneering search engine to become one of the most popular portals on the Internet. An organisation that uses technology to focus on customer needs, Yahoo! operates a highly customer-centric design process, with user research instrumental in the development of new products and the evolution of existing ones."    (Continued via Usability News)    [Usability Resources]

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