The Downward Trend of Design

Let me start off by saying that this is a concept and thought in process, I have not reached a conclusion. While looking at some data for another thread, I noticed a disturbing trend in the results at Google for our industry. Naturally, the words that people type into a search box are open to many interpretations, the combinations that can be queried are endless, but here are a few results.
My interpretation is that as the quantitative interest in the search terms decline, the news increases, which I read as press releases. The downward interest in industrial/product/designers results in business’s including the story in press releases. These two factors seem to mesh as dependent factors.

My feeling as an individual consumer is a little bit product saturated in most product categories. In other threads we have discussed the rise of the information display (LCD) and how the form is taking a backseat to the UI. Automobiles have reached a level that has a degree of uniformity. I cannot get inspired to want a new cell phone, a new digital camera, a new laptop, things which I used to get excited about on a annual/bi-annual basis.

Are there other trend results that indicate a different story? Did I use the wrong approach? How do others interpret this apparent trendline?

I’m not too sure I’d put a lot of stock in Google trends as a data source to draw that kind of a conclusion. As far as I can tell by playing around with it, the news results for every term spike in 2008- I assume Google started increasing its news indexing around then.

Scott: Love the choice of graphs.

nxakt: Perhaps it shows a maturing of our profession. I think people assume products work (engineering), but don’t go on google searching out “engineered products”. I hope that we will assume products are going to be well-designed in the future.

BTW: Health and engineer have fallen parallel to design. I don’t think those domains are dying either.

Far from being a mathmetician…I believe these trends are also a ratio of search volume to term. If the overall search volume increases year over year isn’t it going to show a dilution of volume on a percentage basis?

Looks like America is in decline and Mexico is getting hot. Alert Obama.
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Thanks for the other perspectives, I know it is a tricky tool to gauge information from. The rising volume of search traffic and the rising volume of casual versus professional users over the past decade factors into the results. Terms like engineering, marketing, health all show the same declining profile, “healthy” shows a rise.

Thinking of something that would stay constant over time to use as a basis, it seems that a common search is for health related topics.
The is a comparison, not any other c word. Scott, true the news results all jump, I’ll discount those. Back pain and headaches more or less constant through the end of 2008 with a small rise.
pain vs ID.PNG
Probably, those needing industrial design remains more or less constant over the decade, the decline in average results is likely the dilution due to other terms.

Back to individual perceptions, is industrial design static? In the last ten years for example, has the level of interest in industrial design remained constant?

I believe so. It came up a few weeks ago as well

To understand trend a longer timeline would help.
Here is another perspective using Google’s nGram.
‘Industrial Design’ and ‘Design Firm’ looks to be on decline from 2000 peak.
‘Design’ is such abroad term, but it also show recent declines, but apparently it surpassed Art in the 60’s.