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21 Steps of the Design Process

 , updated on January 31, 2023
A design process is an repeatable approach to creating designs. This may include steps such as requirements analysis, market research, workshops, design work, prototypes and delivery. The following are common steps in the design process.
Client / Stakeholder Relationships
Get to know the client and stakeholders in the design.
Problem Statement
Document a problem statement, design goals or project overview.
Design Research
Conduct design research. For example, research the brand and culture of the client firm.
Design Requirements
Document client requirements for the design.
Design Brief
Document the deliverables and scope of the project or engagement.
Schedule, Deliverables and Cost
Come to an agreement with the client regarding price/cost, schedule and what will be delivered.
Idea Generation
Create a large number of ideas without validation or constraint.
Idea Prioritization
Examine ideas with a more pessimistic view to determine which make any sense at all.
Design Concept
Create a general concept for a design this may include various artifacts such as a mood board.
Design Sketches
Visualize the design concept and other elements as you proceed.
Internal Review
Designs may be internally reviewed by your creative director, manager or peers before presenting to the client.
Client Feedback
Continually get feedback and sign-off from the client starting at design concept.
Where a design has many stakeholders you can hold workshops to gather feedback and gain acceptance for the design.
Work as a team in a room to complete a design deliverable. Stay in the room until the deliverable is done.
Develop a prototype to aid in design testing and client feedback.
Design Deliverables
Complete the final deliverables.
Design Testing
Test the design.
Client Acceptance
Present the deliverables to the client for acceptance.
Designs are continually revised until accepted by the client.
User Acceptance Testing
In many cases, designs undergo user acceptance testing.
Launch the design / product.

Design Methodology

This is the complete list of articles we have written about design methodology.
Concept Design
Critical Design
Design Concept
Design Management
Design Methodology
Design Process
Design Research
Design Testing
Edge Cases
Experience Sampling
Idea Screening
Lead Users
Safety Design
Slow Design
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