How did the executive survey go?

We designed, along with an organization specialized in tracking executives in large corporations a short executive focused survey on Designer leadership in large corporations. The survey had to be short due to the nature of the target respondents, large company executives with very little time to spend on non-essential activities, and the partner we co-designed the survey with was very explicit about what they had learned from doing this many times before. The questionnaire was sent by them, introduced by one of the co-authors of this thesis, it had 7 questions, multiple answer in nature, with some room for additional comments. The survey was sent to 22,000 (opt in via valid email with the usual 4% hard bounced), the detected opening rate was “average” at 7% (many companies disable this function), the unsubscribe rate was “average” at 0.4% (meaning that executives were not annoyed). There were 54 respondents to the executive survey, relevant from a qualitative point of view (the intention), it still does not provide a clear insight on what they might think about the topic, and we discussed possible reasons (only big names like Harvard command higher response, weak Incentive, weak Interest in the topic.

Though we could speculate that designers do not reach the C-Suite of these large corporations because the CEO’s and executives actually know, or believe they know, what design is capable of delivering and don’t believe design needs to be at that level, that is all this is, speculation. This topic is listed at the end of this thesis as a potential area for further research, the real reasons behind executives’ disinterest in design related issues.