What is design consulting?
Design consulting was once one of the narrowest of disciplines confined to architecture, landscapes and print media. But with the explosion of the information age, the surging adoption of new technologies and the advent of a services economy, it now goes wider and deeper. Design consulting touches nearly everything that we use, see, read and do.
Popular design consulting services
Architectural and space design consulting includes buildings, urban landscapes, external and internal spaces. Today’s buildings have to be energy efficient, naturally lit and inviting to live and work in. Urban landscapes are designed to create communities which integrate accommodation, educational establishments, locations for leisure and creativity, the all-important workplaces and the supporting services. The design of external and internal spaces takes us into ergonomics and human factors such as comfort design and user-friendly environments.
Communication design consulting extends to designing the medium needed and developing the message to be communicated. The medium includes print, electronic and presentation. This in turn has led to the emergence of digital design consulting services where digital and multimedia messages and communications are designed and implemented.
Traditional graphic design consulting now includes much more conceptual work in order to create and drive home the visual representation of ideas and messages so needed by organisations in all industries because of today’s competitive world.
The new skill set of information architecture has resulted in the dawn of information design consulting. This is especially relevant when it comes to the information that an organisation transmits externally. For example, the competitive nature of proposals for products and services demands a distinctiveness to stand out, plus the unambiguous communication of your compelling value proposition.
Finally, our services economy demands service design consulting to come up with innovative technology-inclusive services and solutions. We have all seen outsourced services replacing poorly performing and badly designed in-house services. And now we see single contact points, single touch points, for very effective consolidated services that serve the same client or customer. This is partly due to the availability of technology enablers, but mainly due to the capability to design the consolidation.
What to look for in a design consultant
Understanding the brief for design consulting services has to be top of the list, closely followed by the ability to not only design the building or the information pack or the new service, but also communicate the message. This combination will give you the ‘wow factor’ you need.
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