By now, you are starting to get a sense that the design process is a powerful tool. Now we’ll take a look at how the process works:
The process has five steps. Starting at the top, we have:
- Defining the problem.
This is an important step but it is sometimes forgotten. It is important to understand what question you are trying to answer before you start. Otherwise, by the time you get to the end, you’ll realise your answer doesn’t work as well as it should. Starting with the right question saves you wasting a lot of time and effort.
- Researching the data.
There is a wealth of information on every subject. Once you know what question you are answering, the next step is to dive into the pool of data. You might find that someone has solved your problem already. Or you might find helpful clues that guide your next tasks.
- Imagining possibilities.
With enough information in hand, you can start to think about how you’ll use it. What could your solution look like? What should it look like? This is a creative step, focused on generating all sorts of answers to the question.
- Designing the solution.
The next step is to take one of the ideas from the imagining step and to build it. This is not going to be the final answer to the original question, but it’s an important part of the process. Once you see how your solution works, you can see what is missing or what needs changing.
There will be parts of the solution that work well and parts that don’t. Experimenting with the design lets you play with different possibilities, steadily refining the answer to its best form.
There’s a lot of information here. The rest of the course is spent untangling what this all means. But first, let’s look at an example of design process thinking.
Module 1: Introduction
Module 2: Defining the problem
Module 3: Researching the data
Module 4: Imagining possibilities
Module 5: Designing the solution
Module 6: Experimenting
Module 7: Case study: This Course
Module 8: Where to from here?