Strategic Design vs. Tactical Design

Strategic Design is the application of future-oriented design ideas with a view to improve an organization’s modern and competitive qualities. “Traditional definitions of design usually deal with creating discrete solutions — be it a product, a building, or a service. Strategic design is about applying some of the rules of traditional design to “big picture” systemic challenges. It redefines how problems are approached, identifies opportunities for motion, and helps deliver more complete and resilient solutions.”

Its foundations lie in the evaluation of external and inner traits and data, which enables design selections to be made on the idea of facts fairly than aesthetics or intuition. As such it is regarded as an effective way to bridge innovation, research, administration and design.

Things that are focused on when taking a Strategic Design Approach

Full Product experiences

More than just an app or site

Service Design

Marketing strategies

Social interactions

Supporting Employee Experiences

Physical experiences

Sound/ Touch /Visual

Create a vision primarily based on informed research

Create what people want

Stakeholder’s could not know what they need to do

So with that definition let’s deal with the how things are traditionally pushed in a product process. Often when a product moves to a stage of maturity it moves into what’s called a Tactical Design approach. It boils down to something like this.

Tactical Design identifies and investigates with known and ambiguous facets of the current situation to discover hidden parameters and open various paths that will lead to the goal. Because Tactical Design is iterative, intermediate “solutions” are also potential beginning points of alternative paths, including redefining of the initial problem.

Things that are focused on when taking a Tactical Design Approach

Deal with an app/site

The refinement of a process to execute an app/function or site

UX/UI of the app or site


Visible Design

Create decisions based on user feedback and stakeholder enter

Create what individuals want

Stakeholder’s already have a vision — just need somebody to create it