Proposing a framework to help demonstrate tangible value

As a designer, a recurring theme in almost every company I’ve worked at has been in the justification of design as a contributor of value to projects. Over the past twenty years, I’ve been asked to ‘colour in’ wireframes, ‘prettify’ slides and — horror of horrors — ‘Mac stuff up’. The preconception seems to be that design is purely an aesthetic discipline.

In this article, I’m specifically talking about design as a broad spectrum of activities that generally fall under the digital design umbrella: visual, content, UX, UI and service design, alongside user research.

It’s an odd position to take…

It’s exactly one year since I last had an alcoholic drink, at a work summer party. The thought to take a break from booze had actually been with me for much longer but 365 days ago I finally decided it was the right time for me.

Back in 2014, the behavioural design agency that I co-owned was commissioned to create a smartphone app to encourage people to understand the frequency of their alcohol consumption, and encouraged users to take days off the booze.

A screenshot of the alcohol-reduction app

Part of the research we conducted was to look at the drinking patterns of people in their…

This article was originally published on It’s Nice That.

I read Alex Dempsey’s article ‘How to survive the “design apocalypse” by setting up your own agency’ with interest. It rang bells for me, as I founded my own design agency back in 2012. Like many ‘start your own company articles’, Alex’s is full of interesting advice and good survival tips.

But when my London-based creative agency became insolvent early in 2015 and my startup dream came to a screeching halt, there was nothing I could find that could help me through the emotional, legal and practical minefield to come.


Paul Batterham

Service Designer. Entrepreneur. Perspiring Writer. Comedian.

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