The value of design.


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After the long video in the last issue this one will only take you a mere 3 minutes to absorb. The video is just an update from Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist at Duke University (and a favourite of ¡Design Thinkers!) but poses an interesting question on the value of design.

When it comes to buying design do you pay for the time it takes to create a design or for the perfect end product? Most design buyers would probably want an arrangement to the latter, if it takes you longer then that’s your problem. After all they’re paying for your skill and experience and you should be able to estimate how long something will take. But what if they’re perfect design takes only 5 minutes will they still value your work and more importantly pay you the same amount?

It reminds me of a documentary about the rise and fall of advertising which relayed the story of how the tune that accompanied the Cadbury’s Smash adverts in the 80s was conceived. The story was that the advert had been made, the strapline ‘for mash, get smash’ was in place they just needed a catchy melody to go with it. The ad man in charge phoned a composer friend and asked him what he could do. It just so happened he answered the call when sat at his piano and replied immediately with “Do you mean something like ‘da daa, da daaaa?’” (watch the advert below if you don’t already know the tune). The ad man thought it perfect and the next day a cheque for £30,000 was sent for what was possible 5 seconds of work. Do you think your clients would do the same?

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