Let’s start with what is copyright? Basically it is how a creator can protect their labour and creativity legally and can sometimes extend beyond economic loss however there are some differences between design and general copyright protection:
Protection under the Designs Act 2003 (Cth) requires a formal application for registration before rights are obtained. Before you can pursue anyone for infringement of a registered design, it must be examined and certified by the Registrar. Unlike enforcing copyright, which does not require any formal registration or certification process.
Design registration requires a fee whereas copyright protection is automatic and free (yay!).
What must be met for copyright protection:
Product meet the definition of ‘artistic work’ (such as a painting, a drawing, sculpture or work of artistic craftsmanship).
The work must be in material form. This means it cannot be a mere idea or theory.
The product must be original, artistic work, meaning the work cannot be copied from another person. If you are claiming copyright for it, it must come from you.
If your work/product meets the above then registration for copyright is not necessary as it is automatic. Keep in mind though, you will need to have proof that the work is originally yours so things like progress images, prototypes etc. help disputes of copyright ownership. After all, there’s no point getting the law involved if you can’t prove your background and claim is legitimate.
An important thing to note is the differences between design and copyright protection:
This protects a product’s appearance but not it’s function.
However if the function is related to a product’s appearance will not disqualify it from registration.
It must be distinctly different to existing product designs publicly used in Australia, or published in a document anywhere.
Important Things To Note
Unless dual protection (copyright and design protection) is possible, copyright protection is lost when a design is registered.
Once a product has been reduced at industrial quantities, copyright protection is lost and it is also no longer possible to register the design.
Substitute the blank space above with just about anything these days (car, meal, city, website, course, concert, charity, therapy), and you get the unofficial catch cry of the early 21st century.
Whatever you have to promote to the world – among the endless options in category X competing for attention – is not desirable without it being an “experience”.
But what exactly does that mean? And what does it mean for the two groups of people who potentially collaborate to provide it – the creative types and the business types?
Experience and design
Experiences are ultimately about human perceptions, memories and impressions. Psychologically speaking, how a person experiences an event or phenomenon is an emotional and rational response to an outside stimulus.
Once lived, an experience can be stored as a memory within a person’s mind – and we all know we like to keep pleasant memories that “stick” for the right reasons.
Design usually falls into the domain of the creative types; but “design thinking” is becoming an acceptable and popular practice for just about anyone. As Tim Brown, CEO of global design firm IDEO put it:
Design thinking is a human-centred approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.
That means anyone who wishes to innovate can design – that is, visualise, map, conceptualise, sketch – solutions based on gathering knowledge of how people behave in terms of technological use or non-use, and how this knowledge can advance the aims of an endeavour.
When we talk about designing experiences, it is important to first understand how certain types of people experience something in context, and then design or facilitate experiences that make a positive difference for people.
In the US and Europe, the so-called “experience economy” (also known as exponomy) is on the rise as a potentially transformative concept for businesses, consumers and society in general. The idea can be traced back to 1998, when B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore of Harvard Business School introduced a new way of thinking about commodities not just being about goods and services.
Commodities were, the pair argued, more about human experiences that are highly memorable and emotionally engaging enough to sustain long-term value and relationships. Such experiences were powerful enough to change the ways in which people lived and behaved. In short, Pine and Gilmore believed people were willing to pay more for the commodity with the X-Factor.
This suggests companies need to pay much closer attention to the design of experiences co-created by their customers. Businesses need to provideopportunities for customers to participate in experience design through user research. Similarly, a collective mindset needs to be cultivated that allows businesses to realise the interrelatedness of different companies and industries.
This would help them design for experiences that are collaborative across different sectors. For example, a major fashion event would collaborate with the entertainment, media and tourism/hospitality industries to provide an audience with a lasting impression through a multi-sensory experience that is both enjoyable and prosperous.
In recent years, “experience” related positions such as User Experience (UX) Designer/Researcher and Chief Experience Officer (CXO) have increasingly become more visible in organisations of all types.
While some creative positions have a narrow focus on designing digital experiences for website users, others at the senior executive level, such as CXO, aim to plan and maintain a more holistic user-business-technology experience, including “blended” experiences online and offline.
Some experience designers work as freelance consultants, either independently or as part of a design firm, for clients in a range of sectors.
Experience design globally and in Australia
In practice, experience design has grown to include the personalisation of experiences through better understanding of different types of human beings combined with unique, innovative ideas developed by company leaders. Perhaps the most well known example of a globally influential and transformative experience-based commodity is Apple.
Apple changed the way people experienced technology with simple interfaces, interactive gestures and memorable branding permeating the products through to their digital and in-store service. This design was a combination of user needs and behaviour which Apple designers perceived and their own creativity, as Steve Jobs himself put it:
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesise new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.
While the tech industry in the US seems to have embraced the experience economy (with US-based innovation firm frog this year declaring its “coming of age”), the concept has impacted upon many types of businesses and sectors across the globe.
Australian businesses are now starting to acknowledge the emergence of the experience economy with sectors such as (but not limited to) arts and entertainment, tourism, and higher education re-thinking their roles as key players.
Recently, the Australian independent music industry was explored conceptually for the first time using an experience-economy lens, acknowledging the complex relationships and interactions between music business entrepreneurs, musicians, music fans, and the digital and live music experiences.
While these elements usually work in isolation, the exponomy (and experience designers/CXOs who implement the concept) are able to unite them on common ground. Furthermore, exponomy highlights the fusing of industries towards increasing value for all stakeholders involved in a given venture.
A good example of this is the recent collaboration between Australian musicians and wine tourism campaigns, featuring a Nick Cave classic soundtrack for the Be Consumed at Barossa Valley cinematic multi-sensory advert (see above).
The ad won international acclaim as best tourism ad at Cannes and has succeeded in its goal of attracting more tourists to visit Barossa Valley as a result. This shows that real-life experiences can begin with audio-visual tempters designed to engage imaginations on a personal level.
In the same way, higher education in Australia as a major service provider is currently reframing its understanding of how to design for diverse experiences for students, teachers, researchers and research users.
Designing experiences that acknowledge, enthuse, inspire and potentially positively transform the whole person – not just the customer, employee, student or statistic – appear vital to sustaining long-term partnerships.
In the race to stem the flow of complex product imports from low wage but increasingly skilled newly industrialised countries, Australia and other developed countries are nervously talking about the importance of research, development and design. This, they think, is where the high wage jobs will come from – and we in the ‘west’ have a unique handle on this. Thailand and China can assemble complex manufactured items, but ‘we’ have the monopoly on the inventive and creative parts.
Everyone is now hopping on the design bandwagon – design systems; design thinking; business model design; registered designs and design ideation. Even the economists are talking about design (in the context of a market).
But what is design really? In many respects, this is like asking fish where the water is. Every tangible product and intangible organisation has a design and always has had. But presumably, all those schools of design and designing businesses must believe they are adding value over and above what has been.
Design as applied art
Design is traditionally associated with applied art, or more precisely, aesthetically pleasing products. Applied art in this context includes recognisable areas such as fashion design, graphic design or product design.
Design as functionality
Traditionally the engineers also have used the term design. But this is to do with the functionality of the product, not its appearance. Hence, we have industrial design, engineering design and process design.
Increasingly, the term design now embraces appearance that is valued both for its own sake and because it enables desirable new forms of functionality. Apple is a champion of this. They require beauty in appearance but also demand that this appearance accommodates complex functionality. And they understand the power of a brand that can optimise these combined attributes. Consumers may not necessarily think about where the iPhone or MacBook is assembled, but they are being asked to turn their minds to where the product was designed. Hence Apple’s movement away from labelling their products as “Made in China” to “Designed in California”.
Design as process
Design has morphed again and now the term is used to describe a process that brings together seemingly unrelated groups of people to solve complex problems. The value here is employing design thinking to solve problems that ultimately enrich a user’s experience with a product or service. It is about creating an environment where stakeholders, not just the designers, can work collaboratively in the same space to solve the problem. Compared with the traditional ‘production line’ methods, these new design processes iterate between the upstream and downstream creators and end-users to produce an integrated and well thought through good and service.
The Centre for Design Innovation at Swinburne is a creature of this process. It takes a problem and creates outcomes that are end-user centric. Each problem requires a tailored working team with the right set of multidisciplinary skills. The aim is to enrich the end users’ life.
An example of a problem currently being tackled by the Centre is the reduction of head impacts during sports-related contact. The aim of the Centre’s Smart Cap and Gear project is to design an advanced wearable product that monitors in real time forces to the head and torso during sporting activities.
Likewise, at Swinburne’s Design Factory the group attest to the philosophy that design acts as a broker, bringing people together to solve complex problems. Along with their industry partner Visy, the Design Factory’s students and design coaches have recently redesigned the milk create. Helping to reduce the costs associated with storage, cleaning and theft, the solutions generated by the Design Factory are now with Visy’s supply chain stakeholders.
For many people design as process is nothing new. They have been doing this for…ever. This ‘movement’ is not aimed at them. The value in labelling an activity comes from highlighting what is implicit and enables those who do not work this way intuitively to change their behaviour. In this sense, bandwagon slogans and business review fashions do contribute to the economy. It’s just a pity they are using a confusing word.
As I mentioned in the previous post, Instagram is not just a place to procrastinate or look at your friends’ breakfast – it is also a place to share one’s works and inspire each other.
With designers, this view seems more befitting than ever. Instagram could be portfolio to some and inspiration moodboard for others. Here are a few Instagram accounts that you should follow for some of the most creative, unique and forward-thinking works on the net.
There have been concerns that graphic and web design is a dying field – however, Job Outlook’s study suggests that designer’s job security will remain strong, with “strong growth” in employment growth in the next five years and “above average” level of job openings. Furthermore, experts predict that some design jobs will be highly wanted in the future. Here are the four most promising design jobs in the future:
Virtual Interaction Designers
With the strong growth of virtual and augmented reality, virtual interaction designers will be in high demand to create immersive, interactive environment for users.
Algorithms are becoming more important to enhance the capability of automated systems to serve users in the best way possible. Furthermore, companies’ increasing reliance on data makes algorithm much more important, as it applies data to its working process. According to Upscored, algorithm design job is one of the most lucrative IT jobs and the most difficult jobs for employers to hire.
“Fueled by data, analytics, and AI, algorithmic business will continue to grow and disrupt your business,” said Steve Prentice, vice president at Gartner Inc. “This growth is unabated as algorithms are feasting on the wealth of data that grows inexorably.”
Postindustrial designers are responsible for end-to-end experience – that is, connecting physical objects with digital worlds (for example, fitness bracelets, smartwatches, tap-and-go wallets). While industrial design – that is, making objects – is still important, current trends demand that they should also support “digital thinking and connectivity across many fields”, according to Fastcodesign’s Gadi Amit.
Due’s John Rampton said freelance designers’ future is still strong with 13 per cent jobs growth between 2010 and 2020. Those working in a digital segment will benefit even more, as the field is set to grow 61 per cent. Furthermore, according to Teague, the growth of AI and “global creative marketplace” will also empower individual freelance designers because firms are no longer as bounded within large teams.
As the Internet increasingly penetrates every aspect of human life, demands for user-friendly technologies continue to rise. That’s where UX comes in.
First of all, what even is UX design?
UX stands for User Experience. UX designers are those who deal with usability, accessibility, and enjoyability of the interfaces that users use to interact with an app or a website. In other words, they are responsible for making your time online easier and ensuring that you can actually find the feature you’re looking for on a website without having to click on thousands of links. UX design is made based on user’s perspective rather than the business’ objective. Martin Belam, former Lead User Experience Architect at the Guardian says UX design “recognises that a good digital service isn’t just about functionality. It is about how people feel as they use a digital service, and about the way it does things, not just what it does.”
In order to do these things, not only do the UX designers perform code and design, but they are also responsible for researching consumers’ thought processes, often using scenario-based experimentation as well as “sophisticated research tools such as eye-tracking and behavioural analysis to help companies understand intricate details of modern consumer behaviour”.
Demand for UX designers has never been higher. Commonwealth Bank, for example, employs 75 designers to work on its websites, management tools and Netbank service. Indeed’s analysis this year found that UX designers are in the top five jobs in demand based on its search engine traffic.
UX designers are also paid pretty well – according to UX Designer Salaries (http://uxdesignersalaries.com/#global), Australian UX designers have an average annual salary of $72,099 in 2015.
To be a UX designer, a formal tertiary education on UX would best serve the purpose, although it is not the only way to get there. You can jump into the field through other related degrees, such as psychology, graphic design, visual design, UI design, and interaction design.