While it has already differentiated itself as one of the most successful new TLDs, .design now seems to be one of the only extensions that is receiving significant traction with some of the world’s hottest companies, as evidenced by sites like facebook.design, airbnb.design, medium.design, and telekom.design (from T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom).
What these sites all have in common is that they create a prominent place for design departments to highlight their work, establish themselves as design leaders and further bolster recruiting efforts. These companies allow their .com sites to focus on their core business and instead facilitate an ancillary discussion: they discuss how design supports and guides their business, who is behind their design, and give back to the wider design community.
Facebook.design received its most notable update on Oct. 17 when they released their iOS 10 GUI (Graphic User Interface) available for Photoshop, Sketch and Figma.
Facebook Designer Jeff Smith wrote about their goals in “Giving Back to the Design Community.” It’s clear that facebook.design is set to be an entirely new engagement point for the company, offering an opportunity to talk directly to a community as a leader that it never could via its primary .com site. As he says:
“Facebook.design is just getting started. Like most things at Facebook, it will be iterated on frequently. But we hope this becomes a place where designers can find great resources to grow as a designer and develop in their career. Ultimately, we hope we can help push our discipline forward.”
More recently, Facebook contributed further to the design community at large with the launch of origami.design, a prototyping tool used by Facebook’s own design team, now available to all.
We see similar dedication to creative communities with other sites; airbnb.design promotes Airbnb’s design events at their SF and NYC offices and as well functions as a general blog featuring a wide range of posts from UI designers to the interior designers of their offices. It also includes content that inspires the team artistically and creatively. It is clearly not their primary goal to get more designers booking rentals via airbnb.com. Instead, it allows them to become a vocal and recognized design destination and a top recruiter for designers.
The value of thought leadership and community recognition for recruiting is even more clear at telekom.design. There, T-Mobile, a brand that is associated with the comparatively conventional business of telephones, is giving its design department an exciting edge. The beautiful site clearly conveys that they are a design driven company and introduces you to their impressive team. Naturally, the most prominent option on the site is the “Jobs” tab.
What we see in well-known companies supplementing their .com sites with .design is a powerful statement on how important the collaborative culture of online design is to their success and how it guides their continued growth. The new .design domain allows major companies to cultivate design leadership and inspiring conversations in a way that would have never been possible on their main .com sites.
At the DesignThinkers Conference this November in Toronto, speaker Stefan G. Bucher signed up for a .design domain for his popular webblogs. Stefan is a best-selling author who has done album art for Sting and Whitney Houston, designed film titles for The Fall and Immortals and created the Blue Man Theatre in Las Vegas. As he explained, “It’s always hard to break through when you’re presenting your content online, particularly when so many common sense domain names are already taken. The new [.ink and .design] domains [at RGD.design] are a great way to liven things up and grab people’s attention. I love that I now get to use 344.design and dailymonster.ink to show my work!"
RGD Members get their first year of domain registration and email free at RGD.design, and 40% off annual domain renewal and hosted email as long as they are an active Member of the Association.