How can we measure the quality of design performance?

These and 6 other frequently asked questions (FAQ) are of great interest to our customers and clients.

1. What are the design costs?
2. -> Design rights – who owns the design?
3. -> What risks does the designer bear?
4. -> How can the quality of the design performance be measured?
5. -> For whom does a design agency work?
6. -> How does a design project work?
7. -> How do I start a design project?

This article is part of a series dedicated to helping you with some often-confusing design situations. In this series, we will answer some important design-related questions in hopes of alleviating common issues that come up between designers, their customers and clients.

We are often asked about specific benchmarks that distinguish good design. Is it the success of the product or the brand after it has been launched? Is it the success in international design competitions like the red dot or iF? Is it the praise and approval of customers and employees for the new design? While all of these could be signs of a successfully completed design assignment, they are still not enough to make a definitive judgment about the success of a design project.

We have to live with the fact that the evaluation of design will remain subjective to a great extent. Therefore it is important that between client and design office the best possible understanding of what is possible and the impossible is achieved. A common understanding of what needs to be achieved and what can be achieved together.

Nevertheless, we would like to mention a few measures to help see things more objectively:

Defining the acceptance criteria

A detailed set of acceptance criteria is one such aid, as it contributes to an objective assessment beyond one’s personal taste. In the early stages of the project, this list is drawn up together and can then be checked during the final design result assessment.

Control of the project

Another aspect is the degree of control, that the client has over the design project, and therefore also over the results. Regular reporting on the current status of the project and, upon request of the customer, free access to the project management team and data, should be mandatory. Monitoring needs are very different from customer to customer, but it is reassuring for you as a principal to see that the project is going in the right direction.

Continuous documentation

Apart from the mandatory documentation of the final result, there is a more elaborate method used to document the complete history of the project. Every decision made in the project is recorded, along with the reasoning behind it. Traceability is, in this respect, an important additional aspect, useful and necessary not only in the field of medical technology.

Last but not least: design awards

To ensure that the emotional element in the design evaluation is not absent, you should regularly submit your design projects to the largest and most renowned international design awards, such as the red dot or iF. For fostering a team mentality among designers and clients, it’s always great to win an award. However, when submitting the design project, professional handling of image and text is essential- and there are a few good measures and tips from professionals about how to draw the juries’ attention to your product.

Either way, do not hesitate to contact us or leave a comment. It all begins with the first contact – and it’s best to do it sooner rather than later! Lastly, please remember to ask for the service directory and pricing specifications!

 Written by Markus Wild

Additional links:

How do I start a design project?

How does a design project work?

This article in German

Information on administering your design business

Reimbursement contract guidelines

China’s Peculiar “Love Day” Gives Businesses a Boost
How does a design project work?
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An ambitious designer with invaluable thoughts and creativities.

Originally written by Miriam Dabrowa, 06. May 2013. Last updated 15. September 2019


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