design helps the bottom lineWant to increase revenues by 32% and increase returns to shareholders by 56%? According to a study by McKinsey & Company, that is what you can achieve by investing in design. To come up with those measures, McKinsey analyzed 2 million pieces of financial data and 100,000 actions that companies took to deliberately make design a more prominent part of their business. The study involved 300 public companies over a 5-year period. Medical Technology companies were part of the study.

Corporate leaders are recognizing that it is ever harder to stand out from their crowd of competitors and that pursuing good product and service design is the way to do it. To employ design effectively to improve your business results, do these things:

  • Track design’s impact to the business, the same as you track expenses and revenues.
  • Put your products’ users first by talking with them and studying how they interact with your product. You might think you know what your users want, but if you don’t go out and study how they use your product in their actual work environment, you’re kidding yourself.
  • Include designers in cross-functional teams and give them autonomy. Don’t let them be used as the errand boys/girls for the marketing department.
  • Encourage design research, prototyping and iteration. If your corporate culture is one in which mistakes aren’t tolerated, change it. Getting it right the first time is a great goal, but in reality that happens almost never. Try. Fail. Learn. Repeat. Each step brings you closer to ultimate success.