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Advertising & Society Review
Volume 10, Issue 1

The Collaborative Roles of the Designer, the Marketer, and the Consumer in Determining What is Good Design
By Lawrence L. Garber Jr., Eva M. Hyatt and Ünal Ö. Boya

The past view of the artist or designer as a uniquely talented visionary whose own references are mainly internal has migrated to that of communicator. With respect to product design, we are in the midst of a move to a much more consumer-oriented practice by which the needs of the consumer and her or his response to products in the midst of the design process are solicited and factored into the whole process much more assiduously than ever before. The flow of communication between designer and consumer has transformed from a largely one-way process (from artist to receiver) to a much more interactive process involving the marketer as intermediary.

This change includes a shift from the traditional modes of marketing communications, characterized as a one-way flow of information from sender to receiver, to a collaboration between the marketer and consumers. With respect to promotion, a more concerted effort is now being made to solicit feedback from consumers in the form of marketing research, aided tremendously by new electronic technologies, to ensure effective communication as well as the design of products that meet consumer needs. This feedback from the marketing research process concerning the usefulness and acceptance of various designs is now a well-established, micro-level feedback loop.

In the following we propose an additional, macro-level loop that also feeds back to the designer and also influences the creative process. Though it may be a latent process, and less deliberate, it contributes to the designer’s sensibilities in a manner that may not be so apparent to the designer.

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