New research suggests European design teams punch above their weight

New research suggests European design teams punch above their weight

InVision, a digital product design platform, has recently released The New Design Frontier Study, a global research project examining the impact of design on business. The project is one of the most comprehensive analyses of its kind, surveying 2,200 design companies to understand the relationship between design practice and business performance.

The project is unique in its geographic investigation into how design impacts business, ultimately surveying respondents from 77 different countries. They find that design is incorporated into digital companies unevenly around the globe, but the practice of design stays surprisingly durable.

Leah Buley, InVision’s head of design education and the study’s principal investigator, describes some of the expectations and outcomes of the study:

“Within the industry, it’s common to hear designers talk about the practice of design and how much it varies from region to region. We were interested to look into these differences and plot some concrete data against them. The findings were surprising. We did uncover regional differences, but they were far smaller than the double-digit discrepancies we had been expecting. What this suggests is that, as the screen becomes the most important touchpoint in almost every industry, digital product design has grown into a business practice that’s truly global – not just a Silicon Valley phenomenon.”

The study draws out further compelling observations about design teams from Europe, which InVision has shared exclusively with The research indicates that while studios from North America and Europe lead the world in design maturity—respondents from these regions differ on a few key aspects. For example, respondents from Europe report that design is included more frequently in projects than respondents from North America, and 68 percent of respondents from Europe considered design to be well-integrated throughout the product development process.

Unique graphs were provided to by InVision - The New Design Frontier Study

In fact, 81 percent of InVision’s respondents from Europe said design is included on projects “often” or “almost always”, as compared to a slightly more modest 76 percent in North America. While their teams are often smaller than those in North America, European design teams were also more likely to report feeling their work had positive impacts on product usability and cost. The report additionally finds that European design teams were more likely to have specialized roles, and have fewer generalists on their teams than those in North America.

Unique graphs were provided to by InVision - The New Design Frontier Study

While the research suggests a majority of respondents from Europe consider design to be well incorporated in product development, assessment of collaboration outside the design team was found to be more uneven. For example, only a minority of European respondents felt that product and feature ideas were jointly developed and owned, and 37% of respondents felt that key partners were well integrated into the design process. European designers were less likely to feel company priorities and goals were shared between designers, product managers and engineers as compared to teams from North America.

InVision plans to build upon this research to benchmark this data over time.

To investigate these and further conclusions from InVision’s research, The New Design Frontier Study can be found here.

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