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What are the Steps of the Design Process?

When to Release Your Idea. This varies from project to project. For example, the design process can span anywhere between 6 weeks for the interior of a café to 3 years for an innovative urban farming system. Sometimes, for platforms like eBay and Amazon, the design process is never-ending, as there are always improvements and innovations to be made to stay ahead of the market.
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© Torrens University

When to Release Your Idea

This varies from project to project. For example, the design process can span anywhere between 6 weeks for the interior of a café to 3 years for an innovative urban farming system. Sometimes, for platforms like eBay and Amazon, the design process is never-ending, as there are always improvements and innovations to be made to stay ahead of the market. The reality of design is that you will always have a deadline and it’s your responsibility to ensure you go through the entire design process from research through to prototyping, allowing yourself to review and re-iterate to ensure the idea is innovative and responsible.

Design Process Ending

The design process doesn’t end at the execution phase. Once your idea is out and functioning in the world, it is imperative to monitor and review its performance, even if you do not improve the design once it is implemented. For example, you may have designed a kettle but once out in the marketplace user analytics reveal it could benefit from having a dinging sound once the water is boiled to avoid unnecessary re-heating. That’s valuable information and observation of human behaviour for you to use and consider on the next project.

Ideating

Each problem is unique. Thus, each design process is unique and it’s important to keep in mind that this process should not be linear. Design Thinking as a process is most effective when it is re-iterated, meaning it should be repeated and built upon until the most effective outcome is produced. After each stage, you may need to loop back to another stage to gain further information or improve on an idea. Ideating might prompt you to research something further or prototyping might lead you back to ideating. However, eventually you will reach a stage where you are ready to release the idea into the wild, put it out to the market or present it to the client.

The Design Process as a Guide

Overall, the design process is great to guide designers (and non-designers!) to solve problems in a way that is considered, innovative and effective. But that’s it; it’s only a guide. With each unique problem and unique designer, the process should change to suit, looping back and forth between stages. Sometimes even re-arranging the order of each stage is not only okay to do, but necessary, as formalising the process too much can restrict creativity and hinder the outcome of the project.

© Torrens University
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