Data Enabled Design: designing for intelligent ecosystems
Designers increasingly need to deliver value in a networked reality. The design discipline grew mature in the industrial paradigm, in which companies typically deliver singly products to a user. Value is created through efficient production and continuous (perceived) improvement. In the 80’ and 90’ we saw a shift towards the experience paradigm, in which companies typically focus on market segmentation with tailored solutions, delivering targeted experiences to customers with a particular lifestyle. Creative direction of brand strategy grew into a critical competence, a corporate design functions like Philips Experience Design, required now a holistic view of a variety of design disciplines, including product, interaction, graphic and communication design. Moreover, designers needed to start thinking in terms of target groups with particular lifestyle preferences; as a result, design became more involved in the identification of consumer needs and desires.
Now society has entered the knowledge paradigm, which requires supporting people in creating and leading a life that is uniquely their own. People are looking for evolving experiences that are capable of growing and changing with them – what in turn produces data and content that contributes to shaping their own experience: personalization. As such, companies need to shift from being the creator to becoming the enabler of experiences, providing the platform and ecosystem within which users can add their own personal touch.
This does not mean that values and ways of working related to the Industrial or Experience Paradigm are no longer valid. However making the step from linear to networked value exchange requires a mindset change and a new toolset for the design community.