2021 SEGD Membership Survey: Learning What Members Want and Need

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SEGD continues to seek new and better ways to create professional development opportunities for the multidisciplinary community that is SEGD. But how best to learn about members’ wants and needs? The SEGD Membership Survey is a great place to start. This year more than 300 members responded to our survey—the most ever—and here’s what you had to say.

This past May, the SEGD staff and Board sent copies of the 2021 SEGD Membership Survey to all members worldwide to help SEGD plan future events, develop membership benefits, and provide information about what matters most to our members. And those who responded were not shy about sharing their ideas and opinions! Respondents commented on everything from attending in-person events to redesigning the SEGD website. We know—we’re working on it! 🙂

The survey respondents—more than 300—identified themselves as designers, fabricators, educators, consultants and researchers working in many different but interrelated EGD fields. These include experiential graphic design, exhibition design, placemaking and branded environments, fabrication, and digital and interactive media.

How, then, to look at this diversity of members—including all their opinions and viewpoints—and learn which member benefits are most important? One way is to directly ask how SEGD can best focus its efforts. Top responses from members (in order) include:

1.  Generate new content for professional development and education,
2.  Share inspiring design content and member projects,
3.  Lead research and developing case studies and white papers on trends in the industry,
4.  Advocate for the expansion of the experience design profession and global awareness,
5.  Provide mentorship opportunities for both academics and professionals.

SEGD will continue to develop these efforts even during the challenging times in which we live. The pandemic has impacted all of us, and the survey asked members how the pandemic affected their work environments and what their plans might be post-COVID. Many respondents answered that they are planning a hybrid work arrangement, splitting time between their office/studio and home.

Reflecting on these unprecedented times, one respondent commented …

“Kudos to the (SEGD) team for keeping this organization fresh, inspiring and connected through a very challenging year. Well done!” 

And that’s the goal! To move forward while taking care of members. Several others responded quite positively about their experiences with the organization …

“SEGD has positioned itself as the leader in experiential (graphic) design. It is a wonderful source of inspiration. I want it to continue to be that, and to cover the interesting design projects throughout the world as much as possible.”

“Thank you for the all-women workshop earlier this year — well done! Happy to see you are bringing new speakers to events — don’t rely on old standbys.”

“I said it several times and the expression is probably outdated but SEGD rocks! I love the diversity. I remember many years ago when I had to convince the leadership to bring an international designer from Argentina to the conference!!! Blood and tears, now look at us so international! I am proud.”

“SEGD provides me with so much inspiration. Thank-you.”

But, of course, we received honest feedback on what needs to change, or what we could do better. We were happy to learn how SEGD can improve and be more beneficial to members.

Many respondents mentioned the need for the SEGD website to be redesigned and made easier to navigate.

“The website usability and design could be greatly improved upon.”

“Updated website that looks graphically pleasing and easy to navigate. We have too much stuff on our pages.”

“The SEGD is a great organization that offers valuable resources for professionals and educators. I appreciate the effort to build a supportive community. I’m looking forward to the new website!”

“Is there a new segd.org website in the works? The current one is cumbersome, impossible to update independently, and showing its age.”

Happy to report that, yes, there is a new SEGD website in the works! SEGD recently completed Phase 1 development for a more user-friendly—and better designed—SEGD website and membership platform. The new website is still in development, but scheduled to launch in 2022. Before then, members can check-out the test site for a sneak-peekof what to expect.

Other suggestions from survey respondents include:

  • Creating a certification program for designers who work in EGD,
  • Using Slack instead of the older SEGDTalk listserv to communicate with members,
  • Making programs and conferences more accessible to more members.


Know that SEGD is working on all these issues to make the organization work better for all members—and the answers to the 2021 SEGD Member Survey are helping us do that!

Thank you to all who participated in the survey—and congrats to Katherine Fredrickson who won a complimentary three-year membership to SEGD just for participating in the survey.