Design Audit

as a tool for strategic interventions in MSME- Flexographic Printing sector.



This project for design audit* was done as a part of Design project -2 in NID. The project aimed at proposing design interventions in MSME sector using design audit* as a tool for evaluating the design maturity of an organization. As a part of the 8-week project, we were required to take an industry in MSME sector and study the business and its environment.


Design is the heart of both disruptive and sustained commercial success in physical, and digital products and services. Increasingly, design has been accepted to go beyond aesthetics and also encompass processes, strategy, culture, and leadership.


*Design audit is a tool to assess design maturity of the company. Design maturity denotes the extent to which design informs decision making within the company. This may range from a complete lack of design thought to design as organizational culture. Design audit evaluates an organization in a holistic manner in order to identify inconsistencies and gaps within the organization, as well as potential gaps where design intervention is required

Key Learning

  • Design Audit

  • Market and trend analysis

Tools Used

  • SWOT

  • 5C

  • Macro Economic Forces Study 

  • Porter 5 Forces

  • Market Forces Analysis

  • Design Audit checklists

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Design Audit Framework​

Primary Research: Organization Overview


We studied N-TEX Machinery Pvt. Ltd. which is a Flexographic printing machinery manufacturer based out of Ahmedabad for conducting the Design Audit. The company manufactures and exports printing machines for the packaging industry .

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Machines manufactured by N-TEX Machinery Pvt. Ltd.

Primary Research: Inferences

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Aspiration of the Organization

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Secondary Research: Inferences

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Product lifecycle is prolonged resulting in skewed revenue streams.

Increase in ecological printing due to plastic ban.

Increase in corrugated box consumption due to the e-commerce boom.

India has the biggest population of lower income group.

Long tail effect- customization leading to an increase in digital print and media.

Design Audit Categories

Synthesis of primary and secondary research along with detailed SWOT led to Design Audit Categories for the organization, N-Tex Manufacturing Pvt Ltd in this case. The Design Audit categories were further bifurcated into various design audit parameters relevant to the company's context.

Corporate Decision and strategy

Marketing Function

Business identity


Product / Process

Design Audit Parameters

Each audit category was detailed out to come with a checklist of audit parameters. Scope/Impact score was given after Abductive Reasoning.

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Criticality Index

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Priority levels were created based on the Impact credit scores.


The design interventions should be taken up based on criticality level of the audited category.

Gaps Identified


No standard operating procedures or process measuring systems available.

No R&D capabilities or investments for developing technologically advanced projects.

No direct customer reach, they only rely on portals and trade channels for potential orders.

Obsolete Technology, the technology used in products manufactured by N-Tex is getting obsolete.

No frequent repeat buy due to long product life.

Ineffective market positioning, N-Tex is not being able to effectively position themselves in the market.

Directions for Design Intervention 

Based on the criticality index for audit parameters and gaps, design directions were derived for interventions in N-Tex Manufacturing Pvt Ltd.

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Aparna Singh - SDM'17 | Saurabh Singh - SDM'17   

National Institute of Design  

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