Why do we need digital designers?

Three questions to Kim Lauenroth, Chief Requirements Engineer at adesso and chairman of the International Requirements Engineering Board (IREB) e.V.

#1Designers tend to come from the world of fashion or architecture. Why do we suddenly need a digital designer as well?

Because we need someone who can design and organise digitalisation projects in a professional manner.

When it comes to the building industry, no one asks why architects are needed. This almost amuses me. Everyone can see that designing buildings is a job for specialists. The same applies to industrial design; everyone just accepts that the design of good products is a profession in itself. Digitalisation and software are probably the most complex technologies that human beings have so far come up with. Shouldn’t you need someone for this or at least offer them specialised training?

#2But wouldn’t software development become even more complex and time-consuming with this additional role?

No, on the contrary. The situation is already complex due to the multitude of development roles and the difficulty of keeping an overview of all these. The overlapping competencies among these roles and the resulting free-for-all are what usually waste so much money and energy these days.

If anything, the digital designer’s task here is to simplify things and pool the various competences that are currently distributed over many roles. In particular, the digital designer should take a creative leading role and specialise in all design-related matters for both customers and developers.

Let’s return to the example of the building industry. When it comes to designing your house, the architect is a specialist in all questions related to its design. At the same time, they also coordinate all subsequent works for you to ensure you end up with a house that meets your expectations. The digital designer should do the same job in digitalisation projects.

#3So how do you become a digital designer?

Only in a roundabout way – that’s the problem.

Some study programmes contain certain elements. Sometimes they tend to be more technical and sometimes they focus more on design aspects. As things stand at the moment, you need to pick up the rest yourself through experience, from books or by taking part in training courses. Something has to be done about this. Digital design must be established as a recognised specialist field and profession, just like architecture and industrial design. Digitalisation can then reach its full potential.

Digital designers have a central role to play in digitalisation projects in the same way that architects play a key role in the building industry.
Dr Kim Lauenroth, Chief Requirements Engineer/Competence Center Manager, adesso AG

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