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Chapter 14. Power and Pleasure > A Companywide Awareness of Design

A Companywide Awareness of Design

In most companies, designing the primary product or service is assumed to be a core competence. In the world of high-tech software-based products, it is assumed—wrongly—that product design is a core competence of the engineering staff. Actually, there are two parts to the act of creation: design and programming. It demands a significant cultural change to willingly allow interaction designers to work on the business's essential core alongside the engineers.

At any company, regardless of the business it is in, the employees know that they have certain obligations. For example, in a company that manufactures wire coils for loudspeakers, the production manager knows that, although her job is buying wire from the best and cheapest supplier, she cannot sign a supplier's contract until the company's legal counsel has reviewed it. The production manager doesn't know very much about contract legalities, but she knows that encumbering her company without first bringing in the professionals with specialized skills in the area of contract writing and negotiation is wrong. Even though she is not skilled with contracts—or because of her lack of skill in this area—she knows that the lawyers must be involved.


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