Can You Measure the Value of Design?

10 Apr 2014
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Jerry Kathman

“Good design is good business.” Thomas Watson Jr. of IBM famously said that over forty years ago. Quantifying the value of design has, however, been a challenge for our profession. Now we have the data to make our case. In a recent collaboration with Motiv Strategies, the Design Management Institute sought to answer the question, “What is the real value of design?”

As Chairman of the Board of DMI, I believe this is a milestone in our industry. I am delighted by the yield from this collaboration. This research led to the creation of the DMI Design Value Index, a tool that quantifies design’s return on investment. The initial results are staggering, even to us. Motiv’s Jeneanne Rae details the findings in her recent contribution to the Harvard Business Review blog, “Design Can Drive Exceptional Returns for Shareholders.”