Product designers excel in teams

Product designers are not stubborn and temperamental and they excel when working in a team, according to a study carried out at Sheffield Hallam University.

Results of the research involving 40 industrial designers suggests they are “adept communicators and synthesisers” who thrive on teamwork. Most of those trawled revealed a “pragmatic attitude towards their role in a cross-functional team”.

The study, carried out by industrial design senior lecturer Tom Fisher at the university’s Art and Design Research Centre, found that 55 per cent of designers said team-working improved generation of ideas and 58 per cent claimed working in a team increases creativity.

Fisher concludes that those in design management and education should “reconsider their attitudes to the capabilities of designers”, who are often misconceived as creative artists who are difficult to manage.

The research also targeted 35 managers with responsibility for new-product development and found 86 per cent consider that cross-functional teams which combine design with other disciplines are essential.

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