The Design Industry Finds Itself Disrupted as Design Is Becoming a Crucial Part of Software Driven Businesses

Sailing the Mediterranean Sea

In 2011 Marc Andreessen wrote his Why Software is Eating the World article on how software is becoming a crucial part in any company.

Software changed from the design of forms and objects into the design of interactive processes and systems. Design is becoming an indispensable part of the (software) system, much like the technology itself.

Orders of Design
Buchanan’s Orders of Design, also called: 2D, 3D, Proces, Purpose. Image: NirandFar

Disrupting an industry
And with every disruptive change it has an effects on the industry. The (interactive) design industry is more relevant than ever before. Changing how business is done from being bought as a service (agency model) to being internalized as part of the company.

Although this is not an overnight market change, something is changing. Design studio’s starting incubators and using their product design knowledge to kickstart startups. Or design studio’s being bought by software companies.

Design becoming an integral part of software and business and this is great for designers and for products.

Suggested readings
Wired: The Rapidly Disappearing Business of Design

PeterMe: San Francisco Design Agencies Feeling the Squeeze

Khoi Vinh: The Shift Away from Design Agencies Has Started in San Francisco

In 2013 I wrote how design is moving from the design of objects and interaction to the design of systems (in Dutch). Check Buchanan’s Orders of Design if you’re interested in this.

Interaction design as a holistic experience

Cliff Kuang writes for Wired about why there is a golden age for UI (user interface) design around the corner.

Let’s leave it in the middle of his claim about the golden age is right or wrong.

He touches an interesting point when he talks about the holistic experience of technology. We still focus too much on the single device. And devices focus too much on serving a single user. While actually the most to gain is when machines start working together without you realizing.

In his article he cites Microsoft researcher Bill Buxton

Buxton has said that the solution is to “stop focusing on the individual objects as islands.” He has come up with a simple standard for whether a gadget should even exist: Each new device should reduce the complexity of the system and increase the value of everything else in the ecosystem.

Interesting read.