Jakub: BIG DATA and the changing face of design.

Imagine the days of old, an architect slaving over a drafting table or an automotive manufacturer spending days on simple clay models.  Often it was the case that these were the creative tools that designers, architects and artists relied on in order bring their concepts to life and develop them into market ready products. Progress to the modern age the era of the silicon chip, high performance computing has radically transformed the creative process in design, architectural, and even medical research and development where trials, mistakes and breakthroughs are able to be rendered, tested and proven on desktop computers long before they come of age in reality.


Computer data continues to affect the design of products in ground breaking new ways,  marketers and business leaders are using data provided in order create much more personal and truly intimate experiences for consumers. The colloquial buzzword is “experience design” (Wired Magazine, 2014) Being able to pull apart a product apart it is important to have equal parts the beautiful design, an elegant interface and a truly personalized user experience all dependant on insightful and shrewd use of data.

In the modern era business agenda is being defined by two primary forces: freely available information on a massive scale and new ways of user engagement, experience design is rapidly becoming a key element in contemporary business strategy. (Patrick Newbery, 2013) Although more complex to off than modelling clay, human behaviour is emerging as a medium from which designers can learn and modify designs before they’re implemented, as this insight from data provides companies the ability to understand context, learn and evolve with the consumer to create unique, reciprocal experiences. The very face of design work is evolving.

Recently, Proctor and Gamble one of the largest multinational conglomerate enterprises stated their objective to be a digitally connected throughout the entirety of their brands (Rijmenam, 2015)  this enabled them instead of handcrafting a product such as new dishwashing liquid over multiple fields, integrate modelling and simulations into a single workflow to produce thousands of iterations at the same time. Selecting over time which product would most appeal to consumers.

Diversifying approaches when undertaking new designs is becoming key to accelerating progress in this emerging field, will big data ever replace the romanticism of using a pen, sketching in the moment or a spark of imagination that have defined great design for generations? Not necessarily, but that’s not the important question. Ingenuity can be spilt out onto the back of a napkin or onto a large flat panel display.

Designers of the present and future are emerging into the long anticipated age of really being able to know and engage with their target market, providing a diverse yet personalised experience and what has been at forefront of enabling and advancing this process are powerful, data rich devices that amplify the experiences and design possible in order to unlock the next great generation of possibility and value for consumers and industry in all fields alike.


Patrick Newbery, K. F. (2013). Experience Design: A Framework for Integrating Brand, Experience, and Value.

Rijmenam, M. v. (2015, January). Datafloq. Retrieved from https://datafloq.com/read/pg-big-data-turn-diapers-insights/312

Wired Magazine. (2014). Experience Design: When Innovation Isn’t Enough. Wired .

Jakub Dabrowa


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