How Industrial Companies Can Get Better At Design

George Gemeinhardt

October 29, 2022

Get Better At Design

Industrial companies need to get better at designing products and services for customers. These products and services should be built for the customer’s needs, not for the company’s own profit margins. There are some tools and methods that can help companies improve their design processes. Here are some examples. A strong vision helps companies focus on their customers, not on internal priorities. For example, IKEA CEO Lars Hallberg’s personal motto is “create better everyday lives for many.” In Pixar, co-founder Ed Catmull encouraged his teams to take chances on new projects, referring to the company’s history of commercial success as a threat to their long-term survival.

Multidisciplinary approach

A multidisciplinary approach to design is a practice where experts from different disciplines collaborate on a design project to achieve a better end result. It aims to create a more holistic and innovative solution for a problem, incorporating the expertise of different specialists. One example of a multidisciplinary approach is the redesign of a toilet roll, using corrugated roofing instead of paper. Another example is the redesign of an official airport stamp.

Multidisciplinary design is an iterative and experimental process. It uses multiple design epistemologies, including psychology, engineering, and human-centered design. Moreover, multidisciplinary designers must be able to engage with diverse design communities and be willing to transform their system of inquiry.


Design teams need the right infrastructure, capabilities, and tools to be effective. These include communication apps, deep data analytics, and prototyping technologies. Additionally, they need enough time and funding to get things done. Successful companies resist the temptation to cut marketing and engineering budgets for design work, but formal design allocations should be agreed upon in collaboration with design leaders.

By combining physical products and digital tools, industrial companies can improve their designs. For example, a hotel can use an app and social media to encourage early engagement among travelers. It can also give out physical mementos to encourage rebookings. One chain gives rubber ducks to departing guests as a reminder to come back.


The benefits of cost-effective industrial design are many and varied. It is important to understand that the process of design is ongoing and is often driven by research and development. Designers must look for solutions that solve a problem faced by society. For example, if an existing product does not work well, designers must look for alternatives.

Customer journey

Designing great products and services is an increasingly important skill. It has clear commercial advantages, but the difficulty in achieving this goal is growing. With the rise of online retail, global reviews, and instant access to information, only the most compelling designs will stand out from the competition. With this in mind, it is crucial for companies to develop stronger design capabilities.

The first step is to establish a clear vision for the product or service. A clear vision will encourage top team members to keep customers in mind and design products for them. The CEO of IKEA uses a personal motto, “create better everyday life for many people.” Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull urged his team to innovate and try new things. He considered copying the formula for previous commercial successes a serious threat to the company’s long-term survival.