Design in Tech Report 2018


Silicon Valley design guru John Maeda distinguishes between three categories: “classical” designers, who create physical objects or products; “commercial” designers who innovate by seeking deep insights into how customers interact with products and services; and “computational” designers, who use programming skills and data to satisfy millions or even billions of users instantaneously.

Clay Chandler on the Design in Tech Report

Key Observations for 2018

  • Design isn’t just about beauty; it’s about market relevance and meaningful results.
  • There are three kinds of design. Classical Design, Design Thinking, and Computational Design.
  • In 2017 there were 21 acquisitions of creative agencies or designer-founded startups.
  • Medical schools in the US are using design thinking in their curricula.
  • Consulting companies are going beyond just design thinking — they’re changing how business is done.
  • China continues to lead in designing experiences at a scale and level of sophistication that astounds.
  • Indian and Latin markets are advancing design thinking and computational design. And we have a lot to learn from them.
  • Gen B(older) is becoming a market opportunity for new products and services that can’t be ignored.


—Includes annual reports starting in 2015