Design Processes

A design is usually a blueprint or description of an architectural structure, machine, device or process or even for the performance of an act or procedure, or the outcome of such a plan or blueprint in the form of a model, product or procedure. The word ‘design’ is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘shape’. The word design can also be used to refer to the artistic structure of a work of art. The verb to design normally indicates the process of designing something.

A product designed is not necessarily a perfect one; good design goals can still be met and there are a number of design approaches that make it possible. Often, products are designed based on the specific requirements of the customer, and these requirements change over time. In this situation, a company needs to revisit its design goals and objectives over a period of time to remain relevant to its customers. Thus, a company needs to update its plan accordingly.

Designers need to consider various factors before deciding which approach should be taken and which technology should be used to achieve the final result. When approaching a design process, two broad perspectives are distinguished. One is called the rational model, which assumes that a designer will establish a set of objective or goal for a product at each step of the process and will then use logic and knowledge to ensure that the goal is reached. The rational model is a standard framework used by many designers, but it does not provide enough structure for designers to make successful judgments about their process and consequently is prone to a variety of biases and errors.

Another perspective, known as an action-oriented perspective, makes more use of experience in problem solving and planning to achieve the purpose of the design process. An action-oriented designer may use knowledge and skills, as well as experience, to solve problems. An action-oriented designer will seek to balance the use of logic with the generation of relevant data and knowledge. This means that designers may use both logic and knowledge to solve problems.

A third perspective is called the graphic design process. Graphic design is an approach to design that emphasizes the creation of visual communication. Graphic design often involves the use of images to communicate information. The major areas of graphic design include typography, architecture, artwork, photography, computer illustration, motion graphics, and interactivity.

Although applied arts and engineering design have some things in common, there are significant differences. They each involve the application of science and technology, as well as an interpretation of those concepts in a creative production. The creative process design process incorporates many elements including aesthetics, composition, visual communications, technical communication, research, technical drawings, and a variety of other technical and creative processes. Thus, the design process of applied arts and engineering design combines elements of art and science, and thus, can be considered a subfield or evolution of these disciplines.