The design is in the process

As professionals, we tend to take process as a given.

Years of practice, application and successful output makes process so internalized and intuitive that sometimes it can be difficult to even articulate what those stages are.

Luckily for all of us – established and emerging alike – there are always people who take the time to verbalize, systematize and disseminate their learning.

One such example is what we’d like to share today.

It’s a very lucid articulation of the WHAT, WHY AND HOW of FIVE STAGES in any effective design process.

Those stages are:

  • EMPATHIZE
  • DEFINE
  • IDEATE
  • PROTOTYPE
  • TEST

There may be a widely-held belief that the first stage of design process is beginning to ideate – right away.

Experts know that the best ideas come from having gone through the two prior stages of Empathizing (with the target of your communication) and Defining (the objectives of your communication).

Without that prep, chances are even the most left-brained ideas may not actually hit the target as desired, and may prove to be full of flaws at testing stage, which means going back to the drawing board – much later in the process than is advisable.

And so, here’s the 6-pager that should make any design process – be it for a presentation, pitch or product strategy – that much easier to understand and apply, with thanks to Stanford for making such invaluable resources freely available.