The Design Process

Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object or a system (as in architectural blueprints, engineering drawing, business process, circuit diagrams and sewing patterns). No generally-accepted definition of "design" exists, and the term has different connotations in different fields (see design disciplines below). In some cases the direct construction of an object (as in potteryengineeringmanagementcowboy coding and graphic design) is also considered as design.
More formally design has been defined as follows.
(noun) a specification of an object, manifested by an agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraints;
(verb, transitive) to create a design, in an environment (where the designer operates)..
Another definition for design is a roadmap or a strategic approach for someone to achieve a unique expectation. It defines the specifications, plans, parameters, costs, activities, processes and how and what to do within legal, political, social, environmental, safety and economic constraints in achieving that objective.
The person designing is called a designer, which is also a term used for people who work professionally in one of the various design areas, usually also specifying which area is being dealt with (such as a fashion designerconcept designer or web designer). A designer's sequence of activities is called a design process. The scientific study of design is called design science.
Designing often necessitates considering the aesthetic, functional, economic and sociopolitical dimensions of both the design object and design process. It may involve considerable research, thought, modeling, interactive adjustment, and re-design. Meanwhile, diverse kinds of objects may be designed, including clothing, graphical user interfaces, skyscrapers, corporate identities, business processes and even methods of designing.

Design as a process

  • Pre-production design
    • Design brief  – an early (often the beginning) statement of design goals
    • Analysis – analysis of current design goals
    • Research – investigating similar design solutions in the field or related topics
    • Specification – specifying requirements of a design solution for a product (product design specification) or service.
    • Problem solving – conceptualizing and documenting design solutions
    • Presentation – presenting design solutions
  • Design during production
    • Development – continuation and improvement of a designed solution
    • Testing – in situ testing a designed solution
  • Post-production design feedback for future designs
    • Implementation – introducing the designed solution into the environment
    • Evaluation and conclusion – summary of process and results, including constructive criticism and suggestions for future improvements
  • Redesign – any or all stages in the design process repeated (with corrections made) at any time before, during, or after production.

Approaches to design

A design approach is a general philosophy that may or may not include a guide for specific methods. Some are to guide the overall goal of the design. Other approaches are to guide the tendencies of the designer. A combination of approaches may be used if they don't conflict.
Some popular approaches include:
  • KISS principle, (Keep it Simple Stupid), which strives to eliminate unnecessary complications.
  • There is more than one way to do it (TIMTOWTDI), a philosophy to allow multiple methods of doing the same thing.
  • Use-centered design, which focuses on the goals and tasks associated with the use of the artifact, rather than focusing on the end user.
  • User-centered design, which focuses on the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user of the designed artifact.
  • Critical design uses designed artifacts as an embodied critique or commentary on existing values, morals, and practices in a culture.