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Experience Design: A Framework for Integrating Brand, Experience, and Value by Kevin Farnham, Patrick Newbery

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Chapter 10

Working with Vendors

We would bet that in a random sampling of people around the world, there would be more people who consider themselves nondesigners than people who consider themselves designers. And of those who profess to be designers, only a portion will have the training, skills, and level of experience to be able to make money designing for others. This makes it very probable that most businesses will have some need to collaborate with external designers to address all of their design needs. This is also true for other skills and areas of expertise that businesses need, but because we are primarily concerned with helping business and design collaborate more efficiently through experience design, thinking about how design vendors are engaged is important.

Even if all the people within a business believe in using experience design as a way of creating value for customers, they may still compromise their efforts if they engage with design partners in inefficient ways. And for companies that are unsure of how to approach experience design, changing the way they engage with design partners can make it a lot easier for design to guide them as they put experience design thinking into action.

Much of this comes down to the basics of engagement. There could be an entire volume written about how to plan, look for, hire, work with, and benefit from design partners (and probably one for most other services that a business might outsource). We don’t want to redesign the procurement ...

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