This is obviously too broad a question? Let's clarify. Am I asking what does it mean to you? Am I asking how much do you charge, or should you charge for designing something? I could be asking where on your continuum of issues does Design as a subject land. These would all be good topics of discussion, which I hope we can get to discuss eventually.
However, my initial question is intended to create a sharing of thoughts, experiences, projects, etc. that actually might help IDSA as a professional organization identify the value of the design of a product to the success or potential success of that product. We've been trying to do this as an organization for a very long time. A problem with doing this is how close to the chest most companies are about their success, unless it's spectacular. It seems the only way to find out how to value a design is to sue someone for design patent infringement. However, we are now in an age of crowd-sourcing and here is your chance to contribute.
Not sharing any secrets, I'll start:
An old client, Vidar Systems wanted to address the medical market with their high quality digital scanning technology. They literally gave us a box of components and asked what does this need to be to scan analog X-ray films in the hospital radiology market? Through "design research", we determined a configuration / design that improved the human factors, increased throughput, reduced film damage, reduced footprint, reduced Mfg. cost by 30% and won an IDSA International Design Excellence Award (IDEA). Within 18 months of introduction it seized 75% of the medical x-ray scanning market. So we were told by the client.
So, my 1st go is under 100 words, what's yours?