My design philosophy is simple and consists of 4 steps shown below. The outline of this process was introduced to me when in college by Dr. James Groves, a colleague of mine. It is short enough to be easily remembered, is proven to be effective, and is a process that I have adopted.
1. define the challenge space The first step to be taken before a design can be made, is to define the intended purpose (challenge space). This will enable a thorough understanding of the needed functions and features of the proposed design.
2. generate and select requirements The second step of the process is to generate metrics, requirements, and a list of features for the future design. Without these needed design goals, a design lacks purpose and has no hope of being successful.
3. explore the design The third step of the design process involves prototyping and drafting the initial designs. this process uses the information gained in the previous two steps in order to design to achieve the established requirements and goals. prototypes must be made and extensive testing conducted. through this testing the design can be further optimized until it can enter the final stage.
4. Recommend a solution/design The last step to be taken in the design process, this step involves the finished version of the design presented for review to stakeholders or clients. the designer must be prepared to answer any questions related to their design by drawing on the information learned in the previous three design steps.