Every good business finds ways to cut costs, overhead and increase productivity. For many businesses outsourcing is a great option to accomplish this.
You can outsource Customer Service.
… (Dell Computers certainly does for their phone support)
You can outsource Research.
… (Microsoft with it’s research and development sites in India does)
You can outsource Factory production.
… (Apple’s iPhone are made in Chinese factories)
But you can’t always effectively outsource design.
Apple, Dell Computers, Microsoft all outsource major parts of their operations. But where do you think their chief designers are? Apple prides itself in clean & user friendly UI in its iPhone and iPod products; and while all the pieces are assembled in FOXCONN factories in China, where are the designers behind all their products? In Cupertino, California.
Application UI, Web design & Graphic design are very culturally & artistically dependent to be outsourced to other countries & cultures. To give an extreme example, look at website layouts on a typical Chinese website, and you will quickly see the distinct differences with what you are used to seeing on a European or American website.
This goes back to the Design 101 principle that: Audience is key. A good website designer keeps audience in mind during the entire design process as a filter for how a website should look and feel, what supporting social media should be linked and what language should be used.
This means when looking for design, look local or look for a company that has designed for similar companies.
With so many industries being outsourced for lower-cost labor, it is encouraging that one industry will remain local and national: Design.