This course is cross listed with the College of Engineering and the School of Information


COURSE TITLE: Design as a Strategic Management Issue




INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Trudy Kehret-Ward




MEETING DAY/TIME: Thursday, 2:00-4:00 PM




CLASS FORMAT: Lecture & discussion.  Guest speakers will present both the design industry perspective and the corporate client perspective on the design process.



Student comment on readings:  "Well-chosen required readings were both useful and fun, and could easily pass for pleasure reading."




Group design project (60%)

Course participants will be organized in teams. Each team will perform in two roles: in one of its roles, a team will serve as a design consultancy for another team, and in its other role, a team will serve as a client for another design consultancy team. Students are assigned to teams on the basis of their interest in the following kinds of design: package design, name & logo design, and website design. Teams present their design projects orally at the end of the term to classmates, consumers, and design professionals. 

Student comment on group project: "The project allows students to understand what goes on behind both designer and management roles, thus making collaboration even more successful."


Short assignments (40%). There are four short assignments: two based on the reading, and two requiring course participants to use principles learned in class to critique real-world designs.


Class participation.  Class participation enhances the learning of your classmates, and helps guest speakers tailor their remarks to your interests.  It is therefore encouraged and noted.  Conscientious class participation can substitute for one short assignment.



Successful design involves giving planful consideration to the sensory interface between products or organizations and their users. This course will focus on that sensory interface. Brand image is after all, a sensory construct. Whether yours is a product-driven company or a service firm, you build a brand image by giving planful consideration to the physical points of touch between users and the organization--to the sensory qualities of the physical product (if you are a product-driven company), but also to the look and feel of the organization's offices, its web site, its advertising, even its service or product delivery vehicles. Note that there will be a sensory interface between your brand and the user whether you think about that interface or not. And if you don't think about it, that interface may be frustrating or ambiguous enough to drive customers away.



Familiarity with different design contexts­

** product design

** graphic design (e.g. package design)

** web interface design

** brand and corporate image design

** designing names & a visual identity for products and organizations

** interior design of the workplace



** course participants will improve their ability to manage a creative process.

** course participants will increase their own visual literacy and their design literacy in general.



Trudy Kehret-Ward has taught at the Haas School since 1983, and is a recipient of the Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award. She received two Ph.D. degrees, in marketing and in applied linguistics, and is recognized as a pioneer in applying semiotic analysis to advertising and consumer behavior. She has published in both business and applied psychology journals, and has been sought out for her linguistic expertise in deceptive advertising cases. Her interest in advertising icons led to her becoming a board member of the Museum of Modern Mythology, a nonprofit educational institution whose purpose is to promote public awareness of how attitudes and behavior are shaped by the images and icons of modern culture.