The Concept of Value in the Design Practice BY: Katarina Wetter Edman

Summary: The ways in which designers think about their design or service has moved into thinking about is as ‘value-in-use,’ which is a more complex way of holistically looking at a service and understanding it through ‘contextualization and emotions.’ There is a trend growing for designers to focus on experience to create more success with business. Everything within the business world can be seen as a service, and service design is becoming more about the ‘value-in-use’ and even ‘value-in-social-context,’ but it is hard to evaluate any measurement to these new values.  As this becomes more important, service designers need to understand what exactly is ‘value’ to be able to work with it. This article explains what value could mean through the eyes of the customer and service designers.

Value is no longer looked at in a monetary way, but towards value as a concept, such as when the product is actually used, it holds value. The concept of value has been derived into “principles of the situated, individual and conceived” with in the context of the design for the customer. The value of the product to the customer is often encompassed in emotions that are hard to measure, but more research is being done on how to breakdown emotion into an understandable form, so their input can be helpful to describing the value of a service.

The next part is how service designers think about their designs in relation to value and emotion. When service designers were interviewed, three themes emerged for WHY they design, “1) Doing good, 2) Bringing value through emotions, 3) Insights as contextual understanding of customer and firm.” But what is found out is that service designers don’t talk about value when thinking about design, but they talk about emotions, people, and personal experience. They designed through focusing on emotions to design around, and so by doing this they create value for a design.



Reflection: It is interesting to think about how value in being broken down into ‘value-in-use’ and ‘value-in-social-context’ which would be interesting to think about designing a product through these as a ‘lens.’ The business world is turning more to understanding what good design is, and they still try to measure it, like how they are trying to measure emotions. I find this very much in contrast with how designers think, and this is apparent in this essay. Designers think about emotions abstractly, and fully, but are able to create concrete design and structure around real people and things. This is what gives value to a design that is created for people, even if that is hard to measure. How the design is used and how it makes social clout is where the design is not being measured and through this is creating the value.



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