8th December 2017

The real-world value of design

Recently, we’ve been finding that more and more clients are ready to embrace design earlier in their projects.

For us, this is a welcome change. Since the recession, and with budgets shrinking, some clients were reluctant to engage with design until all content had been signed off or the service or product had been fully defined.

This meant we had less opportunity to influence the outcome and further enhance the great work our clients do.

Design shouldn’t be left to the last minute, just thrown in to add some decoration.

But defining the value of design is not always easy. Fortunately, the amazing bods at the Design Council are constantly striving to help articulate that value for all to see and embrace.

Their most recent report ‘Designing a future economy’ highlights the following amazing facts:

The value of design skills to the UK economy

Design skills are more widely used than previously thought. They have generated a new estimate of the value of design to the UK economy which recognises this wider impact.

This research shows:

  • Design skills are highly valuable:
    Workers with design skills contribute £209bn to the UK economy (GVA).
  • Design skills drive higher productivity:
    The research found that people who use design skills are 47% more productive than the average UK worker, delivering almost £10 extra per hour in GVA.
  • Design skills are not confined to design sectors:
    At least 2.5m people use design skills in their day-to-day work. This is equivalent to one in 12 workers (8%) and research has found that demand for workers with these skills has grown at twice the rate of UK employment over the same period (14% vs. 7% since 2012). As such, there is room for further growth and development of these skills.
  • Design skills are central to innovation:
    The analysis found that 43% of workers using design skills were more likely to be in jobs requiring and generating innovation. They carry out activities using creative thinking and problem-solving skills to develop ideas for, and answers to, work-related problems. Compare this to an average for the wider UK workforce of just 6%.

The report actually primarily focuses on increasing design skills to help boost our economy as its so vital and a skills gap growing. If of interest, go ahead and read it here.

We thank the Design Council for their continued hard work at creating recognition and inclusion of design within the UK economy – please keep up your amazing work!

Source: The Design Council ‘Designing a future economy’