Tom Morgan: Designers won’t save the world, but...

Tom Morgan has been an independent product designer, consultant & Senior Lecturer of Design Management and Creative Leadership, and is now a brand strategist and the Managing Partner of ANTI in Bergen. A multidisciplinary agency with studios across Norway; working across design & advertising, technology & business development, TV & film production. Tom shared a very specific and unique process of developing Ventizolve - a drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdose - by involving users, drawing on a great deal of academic research, anecdotal insight and a wide spectrum of stakeholders... all with a tight NDA during the R&D phase. It’s also a highly ‘political’ project, made possible by changes in wind direction from the war on drugs to harm reduction policies. It’s still early days but in the first 6 months alone in Norway Ventizolve was used to save a life 600 times.

One of Tom's favourite topics is assessing the impact of design, which he says is a somewhat confusing and complex topic. Nevertheless, he shared a few interesting tips on the subject.

Top tips for Design Impact reporting:

  • Frame the objectives and link to strategy right from the start; a bad brief is a bad project and the impact will be harder to see when connecting the dots.
  • Identify stakeholders; design can’t measure itself, it requires both internal and external data sets that need to be ‘looking’, in an old school way that’s accountants, sales analysts and customer services, etc. Now we can include data analytics of communications and product, etc.
  • Understand the background to measure ‘what was’ against ‘what has become’.
  • Critique all external mitigating factors (things that design as a solution has benefited from or been negatively effected by).
  • Don’t just look for design’s impact via existing data sets and values; be creative in what you’re looking for based on the business objectives and design strategy.
  • We’ll never capture it all; take your wins and don’t stress, because design keeps on designing so focus on what you can measure.

Tom says that it’s a very very brief overview… but nevertheless a good intro to the topic.

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