Design flop reasons

Cris sent me this highly interesting paper that is spot on my Lift presentation: Why the overwhelming numbers of design flops? by Alice Rawsthorn. The article tries to list the reasons why design goes wrong and misses the point (besides reasons such as budget issues, deadline pressure and lack of talent). The list consists in:

  1. "Designing for other designers (...) ignoring entire consumer categories
  2. Change for change's sake
  3. They made us do it (...) one reason why cellphones are so infuriatingly difficult to use. The market is dominated by the cellular networks, which are understandably anxious to ensure that new phones are compatible with their technology. Unless the manufacturer complies, they refuse to sell the phone.
  4. Innovation for innovation's sake: why invent a new version of something that doesn't need to be improved?
  5. As long as it's green: sustainability is often used to excuse other deficiencies in desig
  6. Design by committee: The more ambitious - and expensive - the project, the more vulnerable its orchestrators seem to feel. That's why such projects end up being subjected to so many people's opinions, that they become as bland as a Hollywood blockbuster with a plot determined by repeated test screenings.
  7. Up, up and away: As corporate life expectancy shortens, ambitious executives have so little time to make their mark in particular roles that they meddle unnecessarily.
  8. But it worked for them/me-tooism, or copy the competition"

Why do I blog this? This is great material as it uncovers an interesting typology of failures with some underlying reasons.