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Design maturity study – Australia lags behind the world

Technology & Data

Design maturity study – Australia lags behind the world


Australian businesses are lagging behind global counterparts when realising and unleashing the benefits of design, according to an InVision report.

The report, ‘The New Design Frontier’, surveyed more than 2200 businesses globally – including 780 Australian designers, assessing businesses’ design practices across countries and industries. InVision is calling it the largest global design maturity study to date.

The study categorises businesses into five tiers:

  • Level one (41% of businesses) – focused only on the most visible aspects of design. Attempts to create efficiency and consistent story through visual identity guidelines but neglect processes, collaboration and advanced tools.
  • Level two (21%) – developed more collaborative processes, incorporating join working sessions and integrated tooling with non-design peers.
  • Level three (21%) – moved beyond basic participatory design processes and have shared ownership, role clarity, joint accountability, and more documentation of their now more substantial design practices.
  • Level four (12%) – have sophisticated practices for analytics, experimentation, recruiting for user research and monitoring and measuring the success of specific efforts.
  • Level five (5%) – design has impact on the widest range of benefits, from employee productivity to growth in market share to the development of new intellectual property.

Globally, 92% of level five companies report that design has a proven impact on revenue, compared to just 22% of level one companies.

According to InVision, Australian companies seem to be realising fewer benefits from design overall compared to their global peers. Despite the study revealing that the majority of Australian businesses directly link design with improved product usability (76%) and customer satisfaction (69%), they were less likely to report that design has produced tangible business benefits in nearly all the categories surveyed – from profit to cost savings.

Across industries, the education sector had the highest proportion of level one companies at 53%, with the average across all industries being 41%. The transport, automotive and delivery industries, however, had the highest proportion of level five companies at 10%, with the industry average being 5%.

Design maturity across industries – The New Design Frontier, InVision

Design maturity across industries – ‘The New Design Frontier’, InVision

According to the report, despite the banking sector’s reputation for having large user experience teams, it still ‘lags’ when it comes to design maturity. Banking, financial services and insurance industries had 5% more level one companies than average, 5% more level two companies than average, 5% fewer level three companies than average, 3% fewer level four companies than average and 3% fewer level five companies than average.

In terms of size, InVision says larger companies face a greater challenge in reaching design maturity. According to the report, SMBs (10 to 99 employees) are twice as likely and ‘micro-businesses’ (fewer than 10 employees) are three times as likely as large enterprises (more than 1000 employees) to be level five.

“Because of their complexity and scale, enterprises are at a disadvantage relative to their smaller counterparts, who are more likely to be nimble and to prioritise design from their inception,” reads the report.

“For this reason, larger organisations have to be particularly thoughtful about how they integrate design into their business.”


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Image credit: rawpixel via Unsplash

Josh Loh

Josh Loh is assistant editor at MarketingMag.com.au

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