In his 2019 Design in Tech report, design luminary John Maeda boldly proclaimed that “in reality, design is not that important,” stirring waves across the design community. After decades of advocating for its importance, how could one of design’s biggest advocates question its significance?

Maeda later clarified that what he meant by this provocative assertion was that what’s most important is the people you’re designing for — not design itself. Forrester agrees. For design to have the right impact, it needs to be treated as one of many ingredients that leads to great experiences — not the whole pie.

In our own research about 2019 digital customer experience (CX) trends, we found that Maeda’s point — when interpreted in this way — is correct: Design leaders who make an impact have moved far beyond craft. They not only understand their role in helping their business succeed but also how to effectively communicate and collaborate with colleagues who are not coming to the table with a design perspective. This is why we’re continuing to see training and opinion pieces emerge on the necessity of understanding business for the success of designers as individuals and design as a practice — such as this training at the upcoming Enterprise Experience 2019 conference put on by Rosenfeld Media.

You can read more about this trend and eight others in our just-published report: “Digital CX Trends, 2019.”