Design Disruptors: The Transformative Power of Design

A humid summer’s evening on the 7th July saw an exclusive group of designers descend upon the red carpet of the London Palladium to witness the eagerly-awaited European premiere of Invision’s feature-length film, “Design Disruptors”. Introduced by their content lead, Clair Byrd, Design Disruptors is a documentary showcasing how product design has emerged as the most powerful, competitive advantage for modern businesses, shaking up billion dollar industries and redefining the way we live our everyday lives, from renting a car to finding new music.

Design Disruptors at the London Palladium

Through a series of interviews with over 15 of the world’s biggest design leaders such as Airbnb, Facebook, Dropbox, Netflix, Spotify and Twitter, Design Disruptors explores the most creative minds of our generation and how they use the power of design to transform people, businesses and society.

The Future is Designed

“In Design Disruptors, we’re uncovering what so many of the best companies already know—that the screen is the most important place in the world, and that design has become the new language of business,” said InVision’s CEO, Clark Valberg. “The user’s experience on that screen has become the new front line in the battle for the hearts and minds of the consumer.”

Entry ticket to Design Disruptors

The film highlights how well thought out design decisions make the complex compellingly simple. Head of Design at Dropbox, Alex Castellarnau, describes design as the “thin layer that connects complexity to many.” Dropbox revolutionised the complex system of cloud storage by allowing users to organise their files in folders as they normally would on their desktop computers.

High Five Freddie!

Mailchimp's Freddie High 5 The story of Mailchimp’s high-five animation brought a big smile to my face, highlighting the anxiety you get sending emails to lots of people — right to overwhelming sense of relief after you’ve sent the newsletter. As a primarily digital designer, I can vouch that it definitely deserves a high five! Thanks Freddie!

Overall, I found the film to be very inspirational. Though the message of disruptiveness faded as the documentary progressed, placing higher emphasis on the stories of the featured design leaders. However, it emphasises the importance of design, proving that successful organisations understand how design can be used to conquer complexity, improve the customer experience and as a result, increase profitability.

It also highlights the importance of original thinking and being brave enough to be disruptive. Values that JPC-ers live by. Successful designers read beyond the brief, look for gaps in the market or an issue that can be solved by truly intuitive design.

Q&A with Tobias Van Schneider

The screening was followed by a Q&A session with Spotify’s former Lead Product Designer and Art Director, Tobias Van Schneider. Tobias discussed much of what he’d learnt throughout his career, the challenges he’s faced and the importance of designers in the decision-making process. He also stated that if he had the opportunity to work on any project, it would be to revolutionise the air transportation experience from reserving seats, to checking-in, security, the in-flight experience and beyond. One industry Tobias feels would strongly benefit from disruptive design is the health sector, but feels it’s neglected because it isn’t seen as ‘sexy’ and successful designers would rather take their skills where it’s more likely to earn international recognition.

Tobias Van Schneider and Clair Byrd

One point Tobias made particularly stuck in my mind was that “In case of a design roadblock you can always start a side project to kick things up a notch”. He did mention though that one project he worked on for nearly 2 years was canned at the 11th hour. Ouch!

Design Disruptors is currently being shown around the world – head to https://www.designdisruptors.com/#screenings to see if there’s a screening near you.

Image credits: Invision.

 

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