A design process is a series of steps involved in the process of solving various lifestyle, user- centric and human-centric problems. It is a personal way of empathizing with the problem. Each designer interprets their design process differently as everyone’s way of looking and solving a problem requires personal efforts and creativity. This process varies from every designer’s perspective but what makes them unique is their own way of coming up with the steps which actually make the stand out with the rest. A design process is the customization of process with respect to the type of project or problem you are working on.
Design process is a creative drive that leads to a creative solution for designing in a unique way. It demands solution of the problems identified. Building concepts and empathizing with the user and the problem is the key to move forward with an effective and efficient way. It is a benchmark for a designer which structures and conceptualizes the problem and finds ultimate solution with proper steps to be undertaken. It requires a lot of brainstorming and coming up with mockups that helps identify loopholes and further helpful in developing a good design. Many brands and designers work on their own interpretation of design process which ultimately makes them and their brand unique from others. They follow a specific and moreover, a design process is very personal process which can be adopted to convert problem into solution. It is a space which can be filled with one’s own way of handling problems, come up with solutions and make new possibilities of making a space for innovation.
What is a Good Design?
A good design is often mistaken with an aesthetically pleasing product. But design is beyond this. Good design is that where form is followed by function. Of course, it needs to be pleasing to the ones who are the ultimate users or the potential users as look is the first thing that drags people to buy that product. But, function plays a very important role in deciding the success of the design. It is the definition of problems which are catered and simplified throughout the process of design.
Steps Of Design Process Are:
Identification Of The Problem -
To begin with, one should identify the problem and finding viable solutions to that problem which needs to be addressed. Identification of problem or needs of a particular section of users are also taken into consideration who are directly or indirectly related to the problem or are the potential users and find addressable to their problem. You need to figure out what is the need or desire of the users and empathetic with the problem. You must focus on converting problems into opportunities which can bring out the best of the product.
Conduct Research -
It is a vast process which takes an ample amount of time but here the main idea develops where a proper research is started. Good research is the backbone of any design. It is the process where studies of various potential users, market study of any such products that are already available. When a problem is identified and solved using user centric approach, then few more steps are included in the process. Here are some of the ways of conducting a research:
1. Analyzing the user needs and opinions which includes identifying the pain points, features that the users look for in a similar product, finding out the values related to the product by conducting survey or face to face interactions to know about the emotions and feelings of the potential buyers.
2. Conducting thorough market research.
3. Find out number of products available for the same problem.
It is a stage where the creative process starts. Brainstorming is a driving process where the designer brainstorms the problem and find out the keywords which are associated with a particular problem. Once the keywords are found and jotted down by linking one from the other, then segregation of keywords are done under proper headings to ensure these many points are related to a particular problem or these many points are required to come up to a good design. This process of segregation and putting words under a heading is called mind mapping.
Finding Out Inspiration And Mood -
Once the keywords are segregated, a designer is required to find out an inspiration for making a product. An inspiration should be the one thing that evokes the creative mind of the designer. Something whose qualities, forms, textures, colors or shape which one founds to be adorable and with it he or she should find close affinity.
Inspiration is found out and after that it is further brainstormed to find out new keywords associated with the same inspiration. It could be anything that comes to your mind first after thinking about the very inspiration. With so many keywords, few keywords are picked out of similar nature or that could be merged to find out the mood.
Forecast Research -
It is very important to look into the forecast study and pick out the forecast theme that matches with the mood that you have found or developed in the above step. There are various forecast agencies that forecast the trends and study them. You can easily get into WGSN or Promostyl which have forecast based on various themes and seasons. A thorough forecast research brings out the trends as well as how the market will be in future, which is beneficial in building the product and becomes the deciding factor in developing the color, textures , form and shape of the product will look like.
Market And Brand Study -
It is a crucial stage where one needs to research market trends and products which are prevailing and flourishing in the market. One needs to identify why a certain product failed and how a product has been successful in the market. It gives you an idea about what the consumers wants and gets to know about what are the tastes and preferences of the potential buyers.
Here comes the consumer study where the designers find out what their customers like such as finding out the age category, where they belong to, what is their lifestyle, their disposable income, etc.
Brand study is done to identify which brands in the market are producing or catering the problem. The idea is that you need to find out the gap between what is being made and what can be improvised to make another innovation and this takes creativity and a proper channel of design process to come up with a particular product or design.
Formulation Of Design Brief -
Considering all the above aspects a design brief is formulated where in all the aspects related to a product or design is mentioned such as, who is the Customer, what is the season for which the product is being made, what are the colors, forms, shapes and textures of the product will be like. In short, it is the complete idea of how the product will have characteristics of.
In this process, the skills of sketching and conceptualization of idea begins where we need to convert forms into products. Forms are very important factor in deciding both the functionality and aesthetics of the product. Forms are the derivation of the inspiration and mood to give an idea of how the product will have its features like and what would be the look of the product.
The concept and ideas are built upon the forms into the product giving different variations of the product and identifying possibilities of product looks. It involves sketching and applying features into the sketches of the product.
Once the final product is decided and all the specifications are made, the stage of prototyping comes where the substitute of the materials are used and made to test whether the product is commercially viable or not or whether it has stood upon the expectations or not. To test the features of the product, a prototype is made before making a mass production of the same.
If the product fails to meet the expectations, it is reworked upon and if the product meets expectations, it is then tested and asked for feedback from the potential users of the product to check how they feel about the product. Feedback is very important because in this stage the product is being tested and used by the users to check whether they are comfortable using the product or is there anything that they find difficult to use. It is done basically to check the user ability of the product before doing production of the product and launching it in the market.
So, these are the steps which are required for formulating and building a good design by following the steps of design process. However, the process is of everyone’s own but the basic things are kept in mind before making any product. Enjoy the process of design which is completely your own and get into the way of designing ethically and beautifully.