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8 Important Steps that Designers must Follow for the Design Process

Do you ever look at any beautiful design and wonder how the designer could think of such a design? If yes, you will agree that the design process involved in designing such creations, be it a building or any artifact, takes a lot of time. As the saying “Rome was not built in a day” goes, good design does not just happen. It results when creators, consultants, critics, and clients come together to identify the problem, generate alternatives, and implement solutions.

Designers usually apply various approaches to achieve desired results that they previously found fruitful. Some may take the intuitive road by mulling over the problem and solving it without understanding the process. 

While some choose to follow a more conscious approach. They delve deep into the problem, evaluate beyond the level of concern, and reach a solution systematically.

The Step-By-Step Process Of Design (Design Process)

Generally, a design process is divided into two simple phases:

  • The “Analysis” phase: this is where a complex problem is identified, researched, divided into manageable portions, and then analyzed for better understanding. 
  • The “Synthesis” phase: this is where the divided portions are brought together to reach a solution fit for implementation. 

These two phases can be broken down into eight elaborate steps, which may not necessarily have to be in a linear orientation. We will walk you through each of those processes for your better understanding.

1. Committing to the Problem

Designers must consider their problem statements as personal assignments and devote themselves entirely because partial commitment results in a partial solution. They can approach the problem by introducing certain analogies like: 


Prioritization involves time management and listing priorities to determine their involvement in the project concerning their time. The time spent to solve the problem is then compared to the available time. If it doesn’t suffice the needs, the designers must make necessary adjustments to devote more time to the project while meeting other deadlines.

Reward Concept

This concept allows the designer to think about the profits, like what he expects to gain from the project or how he will get rewarded by getting involved in this project. Then the designer enlists these profits with tangible assets like recognition, money, additional skills, etc.

Personal value Methods 

Unlike the reward concept, this method is a way to make the project or the problem statement more personally profitable. Personal value methods may not always carry monetary significance as the profit lies in gaining personal satisfaction from solving the problem statement creatively.

2. Defining the Problem

Designers must handle every problem uniquely with a fresh mindset, without letting any previous conception cloud the new one. Then only they can point out the assumptions, limitations, constraints, and requirements independently. 

The designers may use the following techniques to perceive and define the problem:


It enlists what physical, economic, psychological, and social aspects the designer must resolve. 

Perception Lists

It enlists everyone (like architects, consultants, or even users) who can provide the designer with insights, opinions, or direct answers to their questions about the problem.  

Visual Diagrams 

These include sketches that enlist goals and problem statements using flowcharts, graphs, or similar diagrams.

3. Collection Of Facts

After the designer understands the problem clearly, he must continue to gather and research related information. Although collecting data on a large-scale project may lead to massive graphical and written inputs, designers can use various documentation techniques to arrange the requisite information. They can further categorize it hierarchically to make their analysis process easy.

4. Analyzation in the Design Process

Analyzation is the process of going through all the collected information and organizing them into the following diagrams to conclude:

Conceptual/Bubble Diagrams 

These abstract diagrams represent circulation patterns and activity programs in a design.

Parti Diagrams 

These sketches use graphic representations more directly to illustrate the organizing idea behind the project.

5. Ideation

Ideation is the process of generating as many ideas as possible by seeking various problem-solving techniques to achieve desired goals, like:

  • Schematic Sketches

These refined bubble diagrams suggest articulations, boundaries, and circulation systems.

  • Concept Statements

These declarative yet simple sentences describe the main ideas behind the design without stating the actual result.

Ideation is achieved through role-playing, synectics, brainstorming, group discussions, and buzz sessions.

6. Selection

The next step illustrates how a designer singles out the most appropriate option that ideally fits the client’s objectives, desires, and requirements. Moreover, the chosen option must be creative enough to address the problem functionally. Otherwise, the designer must reevaluate the alternatives based on personal judgment, user decision, or comparative analysis before choosing another option.

7. Implementation

The implementation stage of the design process deals with the execution of ideas that were planned so far and giving them a physical form. This step involves drafting final plans, construction drawings, technical layouts, renderings, specifications, contract administration, and fixing budgets to bring the ideas into reality. 

8. Evaluation

The final stage of the design process reviews the results achieved so far and verifies the closure of the problem statement, besides gaining experience. Evaluation relies on self-analysis, studio criticism, solicited opinions, and post-occupancy feedback. It determines if the original problem is addressed or not.

Therefore, this stage is also a part of the design and the designer’s self-improvement process.

In a nutshell

The developmental process of a good and functional design takes a lot of time and dedication. There is no perfect model available for designers to follow. But this simplistic methodology will help you break down intricate problems into easy-to-follow steps to develop a design.

If you can’t implement all these processes systematically, you’ll fail to produce a design that ticks all the checkboxes you started with.

By Sreyoshi Dhali

While finding her solace in silence and everything mundane, Shreyosi prefers to untangle the chaos inside her head and makes an effort to paint scenarios with words that keep her awake at night.

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