How can I use design in my business?

Maximise the success of your design projects


For every design project you undertake, you should set clear targets for measuring its success. In many situations, customer response will be a crucial factor. For instance, if you design a new product, the key benchmark of its success will be its performance in the market.

You may also need to consider a wide range of additional factors when judging the success of your project. For example:

  • Cost - did aspects of the design process - such as prototyping or user testing - go over budget? If so, why?
  • Timescales - if you missed deadlines, was it because they were unrealistic or were the delays avoidable?
  • Working relationships - did poor communication or other problems cause problems in co-operation between you and your designer?

Involve key people to help you set specific targets and review dates for your project. This will make it more likely that you will reap the return you want on your design investment.

If problems arise, deal with them as quickly as possible. Revise the design brief if important new information or priorities emerge. Try not to get locked into a project that won't deliver what you need.

After you conclude a design project, review it to see what lessons you can learn - this will make it easier to ensure the success of future projects. Finally, don't look at individual design projects in isolation. Achieving your overall objectives may call for a series of design investments to build on each other.