Gabey Goh
Sep 27, 2016

Rise of design-led thinking a boon for creatives: Adobe

Rise of design-led thinking in the realm of business having positive spillover effect on creative careers says Adobe.

SINGAPORE – More than half (56 percent) of respondents in Asia Pacific (APAC) feel they are having more impact compared to two years ago, with 89 percent saying that their businesses are placing more importance on creativity and design thinking.

That was the finding of Adobe’s 2016 Creative Pulse survey of more than 1,700 creatives in the region; the boost was attributed to the rise of design-led thinking and the incorporation of design approaches into business and strategic problem solving.

In a statement issued, V. R. Srivatsan, managing director of Adobe Southeast Asia said the reports findings were encouraging, given the software company’s own mission of enabling creativity.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen businesses recognize the value of creativity in driving business results. The success of firms like IDEO, which take a design-led approach to problem solving, has shown that creatives deserve a seat in the boardroom,” he added. “In the coming years, we could expect to see creative drivers taking an even stronger lead in the business conversations.”

However the report noted that creatives can’t rest on their laurels. The opportunity to drive greater business value means creatives need to learn new tools and techniques – a statement that 93 percent of APAC respondents agree to. In fact, creatives now need to be “full stack” in their skillset.

Over the next year, APAC creatives believe the most important skills to acquire will be UX/UI design (27 percent), app development (16 percent) and digital storytelling (11 percent). Looking at just these three alone, the creatives of the future will need to combine skills from the realms of design, user experience, programming and communications, said Adobe.

Despite their increasing importance to business, creatives in APAC still stay up at night with uncertainties, just like the rest of the workforce. One of their main worries is the fear they will lose inspiration and motivation (47 percent) while increasing their creative skills.

Employers need to take note of this, especially since most creatives cited that they are very reliant on desktops (74 percent) for work.

This suggests many creatives are still deskbound, despite the link between creativity and fresh experiences that typically come from mobility and change.

At the same time, the increased speed of business is putting pressure on creatives to deliver more ideas and content faster than ever (43 percent), but at the same time, 42 percent of creatives still feel that they aren’t being sufficiently trained in all the new skills they need.

Results in Southeast Asia echoed the APAC findings – out of the 220 creatives surveyed, 94 percent felt that businesses are beginning to place more importance on creativity and design thinking.

Janie Lim, marketing director for digital media at Adobe Asia Pacific said the role of design and creative professionals change rapidly in recent years. With the proliferation of mobile devices and new technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), creatives are being challenged to create content more rapidly than ever before.

“Not only does this mean they need to adapt quickly to the new demands of creating for more platforms and a broader set of customers, it also means that they need to be able to create on-the-go, collaborate with team members across different devices and geographies, and measure the impact of their work on business results,” she added.

“It’s a challenging environment, but also one that empowers creatives of today to make a real difference to the business,” she said.

However sentiment around the future for the creative industry seems positive, with 87 percent of respondents believing that there is a bright future for creatives, and equipped with the right tools and skillsets, along with the proliferation of technology, there has never been a better time to be a creative.

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