a person sketching

Design Process For The Win

I know for a fact that whenever you are assigned a project that requires 10 sketches, you make them after. That doesn’t help you. In fact, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage, the other routes you could have explored likely would have resulted in a more refined final product. I am sharing with you my go to design process that will work for more than just assignments, but first of all, a story to emphasize the importance of having a design process. Enjoy!

There was an occasion in which I did not follow the design process, it was a mess. Once I heard the description of the assignment I had a semi-clear picture of what I wanted to do from the start. I didn’t sketch the idea or anything. Fast forward a couple days to where I’m about to start working, I try to make something, anything,  but nothing is working. The layout is wrong, some of the elements look off. It was a disaster, and I realized that so I tried to switch ideas a.k.a. disaster part 2. I eventually went back to my original idea, sketched some things out and got feedback. I never was pleased with the end result but long story short, follow your version of the design process described below.

My Process

Once I’ve heard the outline of the assignment I make a list of what I already know and start drawing, quick sketches to make sure none of my ideas get lost. You don’t need to draw the whole thing, elements that you plan to include are a great place to start. If you’re having trouble finding somewhere to get started check out my other blog post: How To Find Inspiration.

The more feedback the better. Photo Credit: StockSnap on Pixabay

Get some feedback on your sketches. When conducting surveys, the more replies you get the more accurate your results will be, something I’ve also found to be true with feedback.  I usually show one of my friends or a family members my sketches because I like to get a range of perspectives.

Take note of the feedback you were given and apply it in the next set of sketches you make. It’s good to get feedback but you have to use it effectively for it to be worth your time.

I combine all my sketches and feedback to make a final sketch so there’s no guesswork on my computer. It’s only once I’ve completed that final sketch that I will even open my computer. While I’m working, I keep my original inspiration close by and a mood-board if I have one.

Stay inspired. Photo Credits: Cottonbro from Pexels

You can use the design process for more than just school projects, it’s applicable to almost any situation that comes your way. It’s a form of problem solving.

I’ve included a link to interaction-design.org that includes a step by step design process and a worksheet you can follow.

I hope you found this helpful, thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “Design Process For The Win

  1. Sad to say how true those words of “I know for a fact that whenever you are assigned a project that requires 10 sketches, you make them after” are very true. This article might be the step for design students (and designers) to maybe see there is a point and reason as to why we are being forced to create sketches for out projects. I think it is wise to make a few designs but don’t always see the reasons as to require a specific amount. More so I think sketching until you think you’ve found something achievable and doable for your skill level, this might even exceed the threshold of required sketches. Otherwise, good analysis, and the post is easy to relate too.

  2. This is a very well-written article that helps identify and articulate the reasons behind actively using the design process and not just charging into a project or assignment headfirst with no idea of where you’re going or what you would like your piece to look like. Adding your personal experience of struggling without the design process was a nice touch. It helped illustrate the real-world use of the design process, instead of just being a list stating what the design process is and that it’s good. Having been through the same scenario of completely disregarding the design process and jumping straight into the computer work helps me to identify with this article.

  3. I love how relatable this article is for so many of us. I too, have a bad habit of sketching ideas out after the piece is complete. A bad habit I am slowly getting out of the more this course progresses. Reading or listening to other peoples design process helps other designers, like myself, find their creative path. Everyone’s creative paths are so different and unique, it takes time to really find out what works for you and what doesn’t. I’m looking forward to integrating some of these techniques into my own designs and design thinking to get out more ideas onto paper.

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