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Tuesday

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The Looming Meritocracy

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by Brian Haven
@ 2:46 PM

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In my previous post about brand transparency, I talked about brand’s dirty little secrets being exposed. In that same line of thinking, transparency has some big implications for companies down the line.

Ultimately, transparency means that companies can’t hide the flaws of their products and services any more. And as a result, I think we’re heading toward a brand meritocracy. Products and services have to actually work, be relevant, and be needed — they need to be well designed. I think this is a good thing both for the people that engage with these products and services as well as for the design discipline. It’s designers that can help companies understand people’s needs and desires, develop appropriate solutions, and facilitate a culture that is human-centered. If you make the right thing in the first place, you’ll minimize the negative feedback. But more importantly, people will begin to demand better products, and that’s going to require a significant philosophical shift for most companies. We’ve already seen online retailers go back pull products that get poor ratings. The big question now is will they put pressure on manufacturers to fix the product sooner.

All of this begs the question: do companies have any clue who their customers are and what they need? More on that later...

 

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