What is a design process?
Design is a wide expression of how various areas of creativity transform ideas into visual concepts. It could be anything, from a simple sketch or a symbol to a 3-dimensional object or space. Design can also be a lot more than an eye catchy surface! It is the combination of factors that affect the final design e.g. the development of ideas, visual aesthetics and its impression, functionality and expectation.

The challenge is to find solutions, which are unique for every project or company’s specific vision, market position, and type of production. Design is a competitive management tool to empower and visualize the quality and identity of a company.

The design process will always differ depending on the character of the project. The biggest difference between 2D- and 3D-projects and their design processes mostly depends on the final visual solution. It affects our choice of development tools, ranging from hand drawn
sketches to digital visualization tools. As for any design, a design process will always begin with an idea, problem or task needed to be solved.

Useful external design links (will open a new window):
What is Design
Design process
Product design
Design Council

Example of a design process
I will give you one example of a complex generic process for a 3-dimensional design project. To be noted; the design process will always differ depending on the character of the project!

Generic 3-dimensional design process:

1) Start up
Idea: You have got an idea, problem or task to solve!
Definition: Together we define and agree upon what to achieve and development pattern for the project.

2) Development
Framework: Set up the framework for the project by gathering and prioritizing information and questions e.g.:

  • What kind of impression and expectation should the design communicate?
  • Is there any predefined functionality?
  • Is there any interest to orientate the consumer needs?
  • Is there any need of making a special research of competitors?
  • Etc. etc.
Idea sketches: Through coarse and quick sketches we visualize conceptual ideas, which will be the platform for our discussions in our meetings. The sketch method gives the possibility to explore many solutions in short time, without limiting any given direction.
Workshops: I look at our meetings and presentations as an opportunity to workshop! Our workshops are a forum to discuss and exchange ideas, where both parties will get an opportunity to interact, which enables us to map out the entire design process. Workshops provide the basis for tangible, documented results.
Refinement: As the design process continues, results become clearer and more obtainable. Functionality and handling can be assessed and optimized. It all begins to fall into place.
Modeling: I bring the finished item to life by creating full-scale models.
Delivery: The final delivery of the project.

3) Result
Experience: The consumer will eventually experience the object/product and it is the user’s perception and feeling that will reinforce the idea and function of the design in reality.

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