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SXSW Interactive 2013

Why Designers Should Care About Measuring Success

"How do you know this design is better?"
This question tumbles even the most seasoned designers. Businesses are recognizing the importance of design and the competitive advantage that taking a design-led approach offers. Designers are moving up the corporate ranks and we're now beginning to see titles like "Design Strategist," "Design Director" and "Chief Design Officer" take hold within organizations. As designers, the decisions that we are now making carry much more weight and inherently, more risk, to the companies we serve.
This presentation proposes 3 questions that designers can ask to tease out measurement of success early in our creative processes. It will explore methods to develop concrete measurements that will enable designers to make faster decisions, create better alignment with traditional business metrics (e.g. Online conversion rate, sales per square inch), and have more courage to push creative boundaries in our work.

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  1. Every designer cares about quality, how come we rarely talk about it measuring succes before and during our creative processes?
  2. When we do evaluate the quality of our work, designer mostly evaluate by 'feel'. Companies measure success by cold hard numbers. How can we close this gap?
  3. What are 3 simple questions that designer can ask to translate requirements to concrete qualities that a design solution must achieve?
  4. Measurements for typical UX design qualities like "engagement", "satisfaction" and "pleasure to use" have all be measured by market researchers for decades. How do they do it?
  5. (OK, this one is rhetorical but it drives home the point) Designers tend to think every project is unique or a truly ground-breaking solution has no history (It's never been done before!) and therefore measurements of it does not exist. If there's the case, how come there are so many digital services (i.e. mobile and web apps) that do more or less the same thing? How do we even know when we're pushing boundaries if we don't know what they are?


  • Alfred Lui, Service Design Director, Fjord
  • Sonja Waskan, Service Design Lead, Fjord


Alfred Lui, Service Design Director, Fjord

Meta Information:

  • Tags: success, design
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Design and Development
  • Level: Intermediate
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