Creative professionals focusing on designing for client and stakeholder values often struggle to transform their work into sustainable business models that are aligned with their professional identity. Exploiting the results and toolkit of the recently finished FuturA project, this project develops an open access, animated tutorial that allows anybody to teach or practice designing for values in a financially and professionally responsible manner. The tutorial and toolkit will facilitate students and professionals in uncovering, visualizing and reconciling conflicts between creating value and capturing value in their daily work. It will be easy to incorporate into courses or to be used by professionals to design and assess their business model for a creative project.
Connection to DDfV vision and activities
The tutorial and toolkit will facilitate reflection and action at the intersections of the four DDfV themes from the perspective of value conflicts and business model design. Closely connected to designers’ practice, eliciting values and suited for multiple purposes, it adds to the DDfV vision in three ways:
- it provides a tool that designers and students can use individually, in groups and across disciplines to visualize, assess and reconcile divergent values,
- it helps to transform value conflicts into successful value operationalisations by facilitating designers’ assessment and negotiation of values in their work with clients and collaborators, and consequently improve the creation of value for all stakeholders,
- it stimulates discussion of a business-minded ‘design for values’ approach among practitioners and educators, enhancing the exchange of knowledge among them and integrating this into practical information that can easily be used by members of the DDfV network.
The figure below presents the theoretical framework underlying the tutorial. It is based on the classical distinction between ‘use value’ and ‘exchange value’ in strategic management literature. Use value refers to an actor’s subjective perception of the qualities or utility of products or services, exchange value is the price that is paid for these products or services at the moment of exchange.
With regard to value capture, value related conflicts originate in the fact that creative professionals are not only interested in making money. Unlike manufacturing firms that are solely focused on creating value for the paying customer, creative professionals also have to create value for users, society and other stakeholders. This may generate conflicts in the value co-creation process.
They also depend on various non-monetary values to run a sustainable business in the long term. For example, they need to build and maintain a good reputation, are eager to further develop their knowledge and skills and wish to do work that generates joy and aligns well with their professional identity.
To address the multiple dimensions of value in the business model design of creative professionals, we extend the interaction between use value and exchange value with ‘professional value’. With the term professional value we refer to the qualities or utility of a product or service perceived by a creative professional in relation to his/her needs, for example the aesthetics of a realized product or the expertise developed from the involvement in a certain type of project.
The contents and structure of the tutorial will be defined in three development meetings. A student-assistant specialized in video animations will then build a prototype. This prototype will be evaluated in public focus groups, for which national and international contacts from educational institutes and creative practices will be invited. Participants will include members and students of all four DDfV faculties, and design professionals. The animated tutorial then will be revised, launched online, alongside the toolkit, and communicated on relevant platforms by means of a promotional pitch, an article and social media.
Figure 2 shows the board game that is an important part of the toolkit. The approach taken in the toolkit elicits the situation and knowledge of the user and is therefore applicable on a range of values and within different domains of design. The tutorial will be designed to facilitate the use of the toolkit in university courses, professional experience programs and by professionals.
The tutorial should be finished and launched online Spring 2019.
Other team members:
- Mark de Kool, communication advisor Faculty of Industrial Design