Bryan Taylor

Thinking About Design Thinking 2: “Designers” are Everywhere These Days

Everyone is now a “designer" — and I both like it and dislike it.

In addition to those who have traditionally been labeled as designers, like graphic designers, architects, and industrial designers, we have more recently begun to expand the use of that title by adopting UX designers, service designers, and machine learning designers into the fold. As these disciplines adopt a designer’s vocabulary, I find myself having a more difficult time explaining the kind of work that our “design agency” is focused on.

What I take away from this expansion of the designer's role is that we are in an age that values the importance of design more than ever, in a broad sense. Once upon a time, the company and its widget were most important, but now, we find a growing number of designer roles being elevated in importance. And this is welcomed news for someone who has long valued how design contributes to business.

On the flip side, I find that the designer label is also becoming misappropriated and diluted by some who don’t understand the philosophical tenets of design and therefore don’t actually contribute any meaningful design. This, I find bothersome.

As a whole, though, I am grateful to find the importance and value of design spreading, and I look forward to being part of the growing fraternity.