Abstract

In order to survive in the highly competitive internet business, companies have to provide differentiated services that can satisfy the rapidly changing users' tastes and needs. Designers have been increasingly committed to achieving user satisfaction by generating and visualizing innovative solutions in new internet service development. The roles of internet service design have expanded from a narrow focus on aesthetics into a more strategic aspect. This paper investigates the methods of managing design in order to enhance companies' competitiveness in internet business. The main research processes are to: (1) explore the current state of internet service design in Korea through in-depth interviews with professional designers and survey questionnaires to 30 digital design agencies and 60 clients; (2) compare how design is managed between in-house design groups and digital design agencies though the case studies of five Korean companies; and (3) develop a taxonomy characterizing four roles of designers in conjunction with the levels of their strategic contributions to internet service innovation: visualist, solution provider, concept generator, and service initiator. In addition, we demonstrate the growing contributions of the strategic use of design for innovating internet services, building robust brand equity, and increasing business performance.

Keywords:

Design Management; Internet Business; Internet Service Design; Digital Design; Digital Design Agency; In-House Design Group, Case Study

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Jul 16th, 12:00 AM

How Design Plays Strategic Roles in Internet Service Innovation: Lessons from Korean Companies

In order to survive in the highly competitive internet business, companies have to provide differentiated services that can satisfy the rapidly changing users' tastes and needs. Designers have been increasingly committed to achieving user satisfaction by generating and visualizing innovative solutions in new internet service development. The roles of internet service design have expanded from a narrow focus on aesthetics into a more strategic aspect. This paper investigates the methods of managing design in order to enhance companies' competitiveness in internet business. The main research processes are to: (1) explore the current state of internet service design in Korea through in-depth interviews with professional designers and survey questionnaires to 30 digital design agencies and 60 clients; (2) compare how design is managed between in-house design groups and digital design agencies though the case studies of five Korean companies; and (3) develop a taxonomy characterizing four roles of designers in conjunction with the levels of their strategic contributions to internet service innovation: visualist, solution provider, concept generator, and service initiator. In addition, we demonstrate the growing contributions of the strategic use of design for innovating internet services, building robust brand equity, and increasing business performance.

 

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