Illustration: The design staircase

The Design process

The design process varies between different projects and design fields. Most designers have their own description of the design process but mostly these resemble each other. This is SVID’s description of the design process.

SVID has identified six stages in the design process. Most design organisations have their own descriptions, but they are very similar. The design process can vary from project to project and designer to designer.

1. Points of departure and assumptions

Design concerns everyone and everything. It is a powerful tool for influencing hearts and minds and for promoting creative thinking and human consideration.
Our surroundings profoundly shape us, as do our presents and pasts. Technological, financial and personal resources and time aspects are basic elements that must be defined before work can commence.

2. User studies

A needs and functionality analysis is carried out, involving examinations of the general conditions (such as quantitative and qualitative studies) and a series of talks and tests with the users concerned. It is also advisable to make contact with the networks involved and the media. All this information is to be analysed ahead of the work yet to be done.

3. Concept and visualisation

From the platform of the previous two stages, one or more concept proposals are developed. These are then presented and tested with the close cooperation of other specialists and from a production and marketing perspective.

4. Evaluation and concept selection

The proposals are evaluated using a series of priorities, calculations, market valuations, and technical considerations. Different proposals are matched up against each other and one or more are selected for further development. Presentations are prepared.

5. Fine-tuning and implementation

The selected proposals are developed further and firmly anchored with key persons. The final proposal is presented, tested and evaluated. This requires the engagement of other specialists able to help, for example, in drawing up production blueprints and specifications. Once any potential problems have been ironed out, the production process can begin.

6. Follow-up and evaluation

After production start, all parameters are evaluated to optimise future improvements. The follow-up phase also includes fresh user studies and tests. The marketing pitch is adapted to the results of these tests in order to promote the advantages of the design efforts.

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SVID, Swedish Industrial Design Foundation | Svensksundsvägen 13, 111 49 Stockholm | I +46 (0)8 406 84 40


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SVID, Swedish Industrial Design Foundation | Svensksundsvägen 13, 111 49 Stockholm | I +46 (0)8 406 84 40