First stop, it was the UX Bookclub hosted by IG Index and moderated by Leisa Reichelt. The book we were discussing was The Designful Company by Marty Neumeier
I first came across the book during my time at Northumbria University. My masters course was centered around ‘Design-Thinking’ I never got to read much of it, so I was glad the opportunity came around.
My first major thoughts were mostly: Yes! Right On! Exactly! Could Try this! then I had a feeling that this book couldn’t have been targeted at Designers, because I had the ‘Preaching to the choir’ feel. Surely, this book is targeted at those who own companys, and invest in them. I’d say mostly those who are stuck in the old way of doing things.
My second significant thoughts came when I began reflecting on some aspects of the book. I particularly loved this quote ”The problem with consumerism is not that it fuels desire, it’s that it doesn’t satisfy it” If there is anything designers need to think about in this book, it’s this. I instantly got this picture of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs in my head and brought to mind the event I attended at the RSA.
Now back to Maslow’s. It dawned on me that as a whole, society especially in the ‘First World’ countries had reached the ceiling of the ‘Esteem’ section. To go/grow any further, we must begin to take on Self-Actualization. If this doesn’t happen, we will continually keep reaching for things (consume, consume, consume) with no satisfaction and I strongly believe Design can play a huge part in helping curb these excesses and creating the environment for Self Actualization.
Another importance is that, countries in the ‘third world’ can then focus on the important things, because as much as we don’t like, we keep struggling to keep up with the ‘first world’ neglecting the basics, this too is why Design is important. If the leader and the environment err, what can the follower/inhabitant do?
Lastly, My discussion group at the Bookclub did raise issues around the fact that businesses have too many people to answer and would not like to bother about things they can’t predict or grasp. But the truth is, if people cared enough about things on a larger scale, mindsets towards Design will be changed and this is what is particularly needed for those at the helms of companies, a change of mindset.
There’s only so much a designer can do to contribute to the outlook of the company as a whole, significant change needs to come from the top. Designers definitely need to get to the top, if those at the top refuse change.
If indeed the foundation is faulty what can the Righteous do?