Digital Britannia – Secret Histories and Hidden Practices

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Digital design practice is distinctive in its relationship to material and focus on fabricating that into interactive products and services. It’s a discipline that has evolved from significantly different disciplines: Product Design and Human-computer Interaction (HCI). The foundational role that HCI played in the growth of digital design is largely hidden, as is the secret world of design practice. These two shrouded phenomena have evolved from early user interface research, through user experience, to today’s post-agile world and tomorrow’s open design. We report ten years of first-hand accounts to create a grounded, contextualised and evidence-based account of design in the real-world from the 1980s to today. This condensed history of digital design in the UK forms the basis of the concluding sections. The first traces the evolution of design practice over the last ten years. The concluding section presents a first-hand account of practice. This case study shows how design is now deeply permeated by business and development ideas and practices. The paper concludes with some ideas of how digital design practice might progress beyond this presently constrained condition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management
PublisherAcademy for Design Innovation Management
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-912769-01-8
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAcademy for Design Innovation Management Conference: Research Perspectives in the Era of Transformations - Loughborough University, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Jun 201921 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management
ISSN (Electronic)2632-0045


ConferenceAcademy for Design Innovation Management Conference
Abbreviated titleADIM
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Design Practices


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