I’ll be honest Ryan Lucas, I’m still reading that study you posted. But I’m immediately put off by the idea that designers are stylists and that the engineers are responsible for the “manufacturing, function, quality, safety, and ergonomics.”
The design of consumer products requires input from a diverse group of disciplines, especially engineering, design (industrial and interface or communication), marketing research, and finance. As indicated, designers or stylists break down into those focused on the form of the product while others focus on the user interface. Engineers break into manufacturing, function, quality, safety, and ergonomics.
However, I don’t disagree with a lot of the wider points, such as:
In the ideal design process the different disciplines work in a unified way with mutual respect, each supporting the other’s approach so that holistically the team moves toward solution resolution.
Ryan, I think what people like Jared M. Spool and Daniel Burka are saying is that design isn’t just about the form and the style. It’s not just about integrated teams or good collaboration. It’s that when you make an intentional business decision (in any respect), you are affecting the experience of the customer, you are changing their behaviour, and ultimately, your making a design decision.