I attended a Coffee and Design meetup last night, where we watched the documentary, “Design Disruptors”, which is about the rising importance of design as a competitive advantage in disruptive technologies. Among the companies interviewed in the film are Netflix, Google, Facebook, airbnb, MailChimp, Salesforce and Lyft. These companies are finding ways to solve old world problems with new world technologies. They don’t necessarily follow the rules of the industry. An example is how Uber and Lyft are making taxicabs look like an old world problem. They listened to customers’ complaints about taxi service and they provided a better solution. Some people who used to stay at hotels are now trying out airbnb. Blockbuster lost their customers to Netflix and other forms of streaming movies. What other opportunities are out there to improve products and services?
When I think of the word “disruptor”, I think of someone causing disorder or interrupting service. In business, it is actually considered a good thing. It means to radically change by introducing a new product or service. Do something in ways people never thought existed. Invent. And it’s ok to fail. Not all your first ideas are going to be great.
One of the biggest mistakes a designer can make is to fall in love with their design. When they reach that point, they become unwilling to change the design, despite the user’s needs.
Designers used to complain they didn’t have a place at the table. That is no longer the case. Businesses realize they need good design to help make an amazing experience for the user. An amazing experience will help grow your business. Good design does not mean a detailed, beautiful piece of art. Design and art are two different things. In the busy world we live in, users want simple design. There is so much “noise” on the Internet, a product needs to be simple to stand out.
For more information on the documentary, go to designdisruptors.com