What is the value of design?

Persona of a radiologist created while designing Augnito, an AI-based medical transcription tool

What value do we bring to our clients, as designers? This is a question that I am constantly asked, and one that I have thought about long and hard. 

Most often, we find ourselves building complex products alongside tech or engineering teams. Our objective might be to improve usability and efficiency, minimise friction or increase customer engagement. For business owners, this translates into increased customer acquisition, retention, revenue growth while lowering the risks (or costs) of implementation.

But what I keep coming back to is, how will my answer actually help a developer, product manager, or even a VP deliver a world-class product that becomes second nature for customers?

Value (and success) is not only encapsulated in the deliverable, but in the accumulation of all the marginal gains along the development cycle that are a result of design interventions. We often find ourselves connecting dots between different groups of stakeholders. This speaks to something that people overlook but possibly matters the most, which is relationships. As I see it, we are not designing products but relationships that will stand the test of time. This begins with our partners – When colleagues from past roles turn into clients, or clients trust us enough to hire us even after changing companies. 

Perhaps the most important relationship we help build, however, is between people and technology. This comes through leaning into core principles of human centered design, particularly empathy, to ask tough questions about the product – Are we solving a real problem or pain point? Are we creating something that will matter to people (now)? The value we measure is the one customers derive from our products starting from Day 1, which keeps bringing them back on Day 3, 300 and so on. We support our partners to consistently deliver value over time. As customer needs evolve, we continuously learn, adapt, refine. We take full ownership of the final deliverable as well as continuously add new methods to our toolbox that help us navigate challenges that are inherent to designing and launching new products.

In 2023, more than ever as a team we want to create products with intent and empathy. I would love to hear from you about how we can make that happen together.

Written by Sudhir Bhatia – Founder & Creative Director, BRND Studio