What is Design Intelligence?



The art of the process is to balance emotional excitement with professional discipline, and leaders in both design and business are wise to master this art.”   -Harmut Esslinger

Design Intelligence is what moves everything toward a state of perfection. It’s what the creative process aims to achieve. When a design is optimal, it means that it’s better than the last, but not as good as the next. Designs can never be perfect, but you can always remove imperfections.

In Harmut Esslinger’s book, a fine line, he articulates the need for a focused creative and innovation strategy. “New ideas are mandatory to innovation, but they’re only as effective as the objectives used to filter to them and the processes used to develop them.” Thinking like a designer amplifies the creative process and taps into the humanistic elements of experience. This is executed, again, through an integrated approach. IDEO calls this approach design thinking. Frog calls it design strategy. Both provide businesses that are not trained as designers to utilize creativity to solve a vast range of challenges. It approaches the problem from the human experience, asks what is possible through all variables, explores technology and available resources, and integrates various models to conceive a more innovative solution that may not have revealed itself through traditional analytic processes.

Design intelligence focuses on one’s intuition and experiential perceptions to understand challenges and achieve goals. This approach can also be applied to business processes. Meaning in derived from all possible communications, even beyond words and symbols. Design thinking integrates organized analytical thinking with creative and emotional drivers. An approach with both elements can provide new ways to solve problems. Design focuses on aesthetic, structure, and elegance. I provide strategies in which businesses can operate in more cohesive ways, through more elegant and efficient operational processes.

Design intelligence, for the most part, uses prototyping as the process that provides a deep understanding of the challenges involved in the way a brand packages, markets, sells, and supports its products. This comes back to achieve an optimal brand experience for customers. Design intelligence allows ideas to be organized in a cohesive way, even though the approach is seemingly ‘artsy’ or unconventional. Businesses must learn how to establish highly collaborative environments in which shared vision can be executed meaningfully. This is an aspect of proactive realization, in which a platform of innovation constantly drives generates ideas and continues to drive business strategies.

The culture established, then, is itself an innovation platform—an environment in which ideal solutions are often derived from trial and error. The difference is that projects are ultimately never complete, this approach allows you, your brand, and your business to remain nimble by evolving your brand experience just as your market or industry keeps changing. Design intelligence then, is a proponent and integral aspect of evolution. By leveraging this idea, your brand will always remain relevant, innovative, and competitive. By incorporating these processes deep within your company culture, you will also enable your team to anticipate problems and new business challenges before they emerge.

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