Design Process: 9 Essential Steps To Succeed

Design Process: 9 Essential Steps To Succeed

Some people try to rely too much on their creativity or inspiration. That's not  too effective because the day they are not feeling very inspired, they would not be that much productive. There are sometimes that following just creativity is not always the smartest idea. Maybe you think  you come up with a super creative solution, but in the end it's not effective.

To help you avoid these barriers and non-sense ideas, this article will grant you a guide on how to get to those creative and effective ideas. The guide is  the design process. You will learn how to use the design process to ideate, design and create products or services that customers will love and need. 

But first of all, we need to understand,  you wont get there through luck, nor emerge from bursts of inspiration. Design thinking has to do more on tackling a complex problem and reaching a creative solution through approach rather than luck.

What is the design process

The design process is a method you use to be more creative, productive and accurate. The process should adjust to you, rather than the other way around. It's not a rigid list of steps to follow, but a tool you use to do more effective work. The goal of this article is to teach you how to use the design process to tackle real world scenarios.

The design process is a tool for breaking down a large project into smaller easier- to-handle parts. In different professions, they use this process to define the steps needed to tackle each project.  Thinkers use the design process to solve a variety of problems defining the steps needed to tackle each project. 

Design process aims to tackle a specific complex problem through the steps. A specific complex problem is difficult to define and cannot be solved using standard methods and approaches, you need a creative solution.

To help companies deliver finished solutions that customers want and need it also involves feedback from potential customers at multiple stages.

Essentially, the design process is a way of figuring out what you need to do, then doing it. Means crafting the steps you need to follow in a specific stage to solve a problem through a creative solution. Along the way you might solve one or more problems.

Why is it important? Benefits 

To achieve this, we need clarity around a specific goal, and when a larger team is involved, we need collaboration and alignment. For that reason, the design process is crucial because it's the approach that guides creative teams towards a clear, and meaningful goal for their design work. 

When you are designing a digital product, team members such as product managers, researchers,  developers, have valuable input for what is being designed. The design process makes it easier for those different individuals to get involved at the right time. 

It also provides correct guidelines to ensure that your design concepts meet user needs while staying brand consistent.  Design needs to be custom made. Quick solutions have little value to the client and don't increase the value of the designer. The designer builds strength in a wealth of ideas and the skill to select the one that serves the purpose best. 


  1. Innovation: Creative solutions accustomed to the client is a very challenging thing to do, but day-a-day coming up with new and fresh ideas is the most challenging thing to do. Design process offers a structured way of a series of steps to follow in order to develop design ideas and carry it towards production quickly and consistently, but also remaining innovative and creative. However, don't you think that having a process can guarantee great ideas flying from your mind, but having a process in place increases your chances of success.
  1. Speed: In the office, you need to carry multiple tasks at the same time. There is little time and you need to think quickly and move forward on projects quickly. Design process offers designers and clients a framework for quickly moving forward on projects. Process cuts down on development time by offering a structure that is a space to think on meaningful and powerful concepts that are tied to business objectives. Process also keeps the project team in tune so time is used more efficiently.
  1. Efficiency: Design process entails aligning people, team members, becoming more resolutive and confident in the way of solving problems. Also entails gathering information and thinking creatively to produce a meaningful concept, and then a powerful product or service. 
  1. Cooperative: As companies try to connect audiences through their ideas, they find that engaging their target in the design decisions has many advantages. True and powerful insights that are the truths that live on people can be achieved by including audiences in the design process. 
  1. Transparency: At the end, the developers tend to work internally and develop ideas through certain methods. Sometimes these methods might be successful but their ideas need to be shared to the others and specially be understood. . Those ideas must be easy to understand in order to develop them. Design process is easy to understand for everyone. As designers are asked to work in a more collaborative environment, they must be able to communicate their process to stakeholders, and make sure they tune in with the ideas in order to actually be a good idea and develop it thoroughly.

Design process steps 

Key steps of the design process

  1. Research and analysis:  The step 1 and crucial one, is to gather the relevant information we would use to come up with the final idea. We could research competitors and study similar projects, take note of opportunities for improvement. We should collect all the  relevant data in order  to deal with the problem or challenge in the best possible way.
  1.  Define the problem: You can't find a creative solution until you have a clear idea of what the problem is, when you discover it, articulate it clearly and define it accurately. Step 2 is about focus and definition. We should gather all the insights and information collected in step 1 and begin to set up the landscape of possible solutions. The design process will allow us to set up creative solutions with strategic focus, and this would unlock the best possible solution. This process will allow guidance for every team member.
  1. Ideation: We reach the moment of having a deep understanding of our consumer, and a focused challenge, we are ready to generate a wide range of ideas and concepts to address the problem. Brainstorming, mind-mapping, are all viable tools to trigger a brilliant creative solution.
  1. Concept development:  From here, we would select the most promising ideas, the ones that would have the potential of becoming a great creative and effective solution, and then later on selecting those, we would develop them in more detailed concepts.
  1. Prototyping: This step is about transforming ideas into tangible ideas. We would create a physical or even virtual representation of the concept to test it and then refine the design. Is a crucial step to infuse life into the work. Bring your work into life in clear ways that your consumer will understand. Consumer understanding is key in putting each solution to the test.
  1. Testing and Evaluation: Test the prototype to the consumer. Find ways to test fast and organically with consumers.  Gather the feedback to evaluate its performance and make tweaks and improvements.
  1. Refinement: Now we have the prototype with the feedback incorporated. It's the time to polish and make final refinements to the design before the final implementation.
  1. Implementation: Bring the design into life, bring it to the market and put it into use.
  1. Evaluation: Track, monitor and evaluate the designs performance over time to identify areas for improvement.

This is a flexible and iterative process, and the steps may be repeated multiple times to refine the design and ensure it meets the needs and requirements of the intended users.


Sometimes we don't know where to start thinking on the multiple possible creative solutions to a problem. Crafting the steps you need to follow in order to solve specific stage problems is a great way to achieve success and repeat the same process all over again.

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