Design Awards

June 26th, 2008, 2:08 am

aedesign
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Has anyone tracked the market success of these award wining designs? As product designers, if it doesn't sell, at best it is art , not product. At worst it's intellectual masturbation.

We, or our self appointed representatives, have recently stated that for every $100 spent on design, Companies see a $220 or something return (forgive me if I don't have the figure right) and that we add value. Clearly NOT ALWAYS THE CASE.

So what is good design? A good design can go unremarked in the market due to bad marketing, ahead of it's zeitgeist or bad business strategy. similarly a bad design can be marketed down the consuming public's throat.

I like the idea of a Razzies design award to compliment the good id award. that would be, I think harder, to weed out all the bad to find the truly awful.

As a starting point go back over all of business weeks IDEA winners and track the market success, ROI or some other metric that has meaning and score their success.

OK Rant over discuss among yourselves
Will Design for food

June 26th, 2008, 11:08 am

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Greenman
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It would be sweet if this thing shredded business cards from annoying sales-people and then re-compressed the waste into new cards printed with your own details.

June 26th, 2008, 12:07 pm

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bennybtl
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Greenman wrote:It would be sweet if this thing shredded business cards from annoying sales-people and then re-compressed the waste into new cards printed with your own details.

I like this, reminds me of "Mr. Fusion." Business cards printed on demand, using any available paper. Imagine feeding a a few napkins, a starbucks coffee sleeve and an awful page from your sketchbook in and out pops 5 (still warm) business cards, each one unique. Take the post out of post-consumer recycling!

June 26th, 2008, 12:15 pm

carton
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So what happens when the consuming public, which we also belong to, chooses something we think is poorly designed and runs with it? Does it become "good design" or is the public wrong lol? what about the projects that win the contests, and are heralded as the golden children of design, and then fail. Like the OLPC for instance, I think it may be evolving into a successful product over time, but at the beginning, didn't the guys who came up with it say themselves that it wasn't successful when held to its own matrix of success?

And how about that damn kindle? we all tore it to pieces right away and I still think it is the design equivalent of "art brut" (art by children or the feeble minded) but it hasn't gone away. I think that provoked such a reaction that we even researched and found out the actually people who designed it, and pointed out that they were engineers and not designers. Sort of an attempt to separate and vilify them. Point is though, its still for sale, and amazon is apparently selling digital books for it. Some people actually like it. Sony has a similar product that the sales guy tried to convince me was the best thing since sliced bread. Who am I to tell him it looks like joke?

June 26th, 2008, 1:45 pm

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one-word-plastics
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The problem with a Core 77 competition is their new link to BusinessWeek - who is linked with IDSA's little competition. Bad juju.

http://www.designdirectory.com/
"Life is pretty simple: you do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.”
—Leonardo da Vinci

June 26th, 2008, 6:54 pm

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TaylorWelden wrote: Core77 Design Award.
No entry fee.
No cash prize.
Just a digital logo prize to add to the portfolio/product packaging/etc.
Voted on by the public/a group of designers decided by a vote/on a C77 forum/or by educated and practicing IDers on C77.
What about a C77 Forum Member design award. You can't even submit for it. We just pick a handful of products to give it to a year. Flip the script a bit. An award by designers for designers.

June 27th, 2008, 4:09 am

mpdesigner
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How about judging a design by how well it is accepted by consumers in sales? Like Amazon.com sales ranking for books, I envision something that tracks total sales worldwide. Maybe the UPC code is registered and tracked? This way it could be free recognition in a way and the proof is in the pudding because it is based on how many people buy and use it. If anyone tries to load this competition, they would have to buy a ton of their own product and that would require millions of dollars. =) That's a deterrent to cheating.....

June 27th, 2008, 6:53 am

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Mr-914
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Yo: We almost do that already. Just look at what people are talking about positively. I think we could send the first trophy to BMW.

On the other hand, I guess we could award joke prizes to the design losers. Maybe we could send one of those trophies to the people at Red Dot?

June 27th, 2008, 8:39 am

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This is the second best selling item on Amazon.com in the "Home & Garden" category, which includes furniture and appliances. Not an award winner from a design perspective. I know because my wife just bought one last month.

Image


Sales does not always equal high design.
"Life is pretty simple: you do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.”
—Leonardo da Vinci

June 27th, 2008, 9:21 am

carton
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If that vaccuum was the first one to look like that back in the 80's? early 90's? than it should have gotten an award, as it would have been a revolutionary step forward from the mean looking metal ones like in the brave little toaster that hotels use.

damn consumers we spend all this time making all this cool stuff for them, like a gift, and what do they do? buy the cheapest, ugliest thing they can find. No one gets us... lol

June 27th, 2008, 9:53 am

JWH2
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mpdesigner wrote:How about judging a design by how well it is accepted by consumers in sales? Like Amazon.com sales ranking for books, I envision something that tracks total sales worldwide. Maybe the UPC code is registered and tracked? This way it could be free recognition in a way and the proof is in the pudding because it is based on how many people buy and use it. If anyone tries to load this competition, they would have to buy a ton of their own product and that would require millions of dollars. =) That's a deterrent to cheating.....
Are you prepared to give a design award to Laz-E-Boy? I'll bet their chairs sell way better than anything we'd consider good design. What about a Hummer instead of an Aston Martin DB9? As H.L. Menkin said, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public". I think the same applies to taste.

June 27th, 2008, 10:30 am

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Scott Bennett
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Laz-e-boy has actually tried to do some well-designed stuff in recent years. (I'd link to it, but their stupid name is completely un-Googlable. lazeboy.com? No. laz-e-boy.com? No. I give up.)

But yeah, you obviously can't go solely on the basis on sales, because a lot of poorly designed or undesigned junk sells extremely well. If the goal is to demonstrate the advantage of using actual design though, maybe you could award well designed products that led to increased sales, or a turnaround in their companies' business? Laz-e-boy might actually be a pretty good example, because I think they were struggling with their traditional overstuffed recliner business. Apple would be another obvious one. They were nearly dead a decade or so ago.

I do think sales needs to be a factor in some way. Designing a $40,000 coffee table that sells 2 pieces makes you an artist, not a designer.

June 27th, 2008, 12:13 pm

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Man is that coffee table ugly.

June 27th, 2008, 12:16 pm

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there is one competition that i know of takes into account the profitability success of a designed product in addition to aesthetics and other considerations.

Design Exchange Awards

http://www.dx.org/dxa/index.html

The Design Exchange Awards, presented by Canadian Business magazine, are Canada’s only award program to judge design by results, balancing function, aesthetics, and economic success. A jury of leading business executives, designers and community leaders will select Award of Merit and Award of Excellence winners in each of the twelve categories, with one project winning Best of Category in each category.

Competition Criteria
Entrants are asked to explain how their project addresses the following 5 criteria. Each entry is numerically rated based on how well it meets the criteria for design effectiveness. All criteria receive equal weight in scoring and award selection.

The ultimate objective is to convince the judges that good design really works – and means good business.

I. Function
Performance of the design solution in relation to stated objectives and user needs.

II. Profitability
Including positive financial returns, strengthening of corporate brand positioning, relationship building, cost reduction, enhancing employee satisfaction and/or improving operational efficiencies.

III. Aesthetics
Alignment of all elements in the design solution for maximum physical, intellectual and emotional appeal.

IV. Innovation
Ability to apply new thinking, new methods and/or new technologies to address a specific challenge or opportunity.
Ability to show added value to the profession.

V. Accessibility and Sustainability
Design that makes daily life easier, safer, more comfortable and more affordable for everyone regardless of age, size, background or ability; surpasses code compliance to current legislation. Also minimal impact on the environment, reduces resources, minimizes waste, energy resource efficiency, surpasses conformance to current legislation and promotes knowledge & positive behaviours concerning environmental & social responsibilities.
The Directive Collective
http://www.directivecollective.com

June 27th, 2008, 4:48 pm

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I'm not sure if they still do it, but the IDSA was doing a secondary catalyst award. Only products that were previous IDEA winers could enter, and the Catalyst would be awarded to products that sold well or impacted their business in a major way... I think they were trying to link design to sales.

Good sales often does not equal good design for sure. Unless your driving a Camry, wearing some Crocs, rocking a Timex.... I believe Apple has less than 10% market share, and something like 5 years ago they only had 2%
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