The DESIGN PROCESS

Communication Technology Notes

EVERY technical project you take on should START at step ONE of the "Design Process".

If you were given the challenge to "Create a logo" - how many of you would jump into Photoshop and start putting ideas onto the screen?
Although the majority students would prefer just to "dive in" and immediately jump into the CREATION phase of the process, the SMART student (and the experienced PROFESSIONAL) will first invest some time in INVESTIGATION and PLANNING before they commit time, energy and resources to the project. This will help them
  • Identify the destination that they're heading towards
  • Identify the best route to get them there
  • See routes that the competition has tried
  • Judge which routes are likely to be most successful for the given project

Design-Cycle-v2.jpg
  1. INVESTIGATE
    • Identify a valid need
      • What has to be accomplished?; What does the "client" require?;
      • Who is the target Audience?; What do THEY expect?;
      • What's the point?
      • What resources do you have?
    • Research and Gather Information
      • Gather SAMPLES or WEBLINKS of what looks good to you!
      • Record information, look into the "state of the art" by examining other solutions on the web;
      • Try to establish the "rules" and criteria others have used to solve this kind of problem
        • Specifications - size, resolution, media
  2. PLAN
    • Generate Ideas
      • Create simple sketches or lists of as many solutions as possible, demonstrating the rules you established above
      • Do your ideas satisfy the the requirements?
    • Evaluate the Viability of solutions (e.g., by testing, modelling, and documenting results) and choose the best one;
    • Prepare Storyboards or AutoCad Plans
      • To visually and accurately describe your intended product
      • To establish precise dimensions or timing for your intended product
    • Prepare a Procedure List to list the production steps
  3. CREATE
    • Produce a working quality drawing, model, or prototype of the best solution;
  4. EVALUATE
    • TEST the prototype and evaluate how well is satisfies the original requirements. How flexible is it? Refine or revise if necessary.
    • Present the solution, using one or more of the following: final drawings, technical reports, electronic presentations, flow charts, storyboards, mockups, prototypes, and so on;
    • Obtain feedback on the final solution and repeat the design process if necessary to refine or improve the solution.
    • REFLECT
      • REFLECTION: CONCLUSION
        Write up a GoogleDoc report about the project. It should include;
            1. Your successes
            2. Your problems
            3. What you would do differently
            4. What you have learned
            5. What advice would you give someone that is about to start the same project.

The Chainlink of Development


Want a shortcut?
Ideally, part of YOUR investigation involve the SELF EVALUATIONS of PREVIOUS students who have attempted the project.
  • You can judge their success
  • You can benefit from their research
  • You can avoid their pitfalls
  • You can build from there work





  1. Identify the problem - What has to be accomplished?; Who is the target Audience?; What's the point?
  2. Gather Information: ie. References; the "rules" and criteria others have used to solve this kind of problem, record information, establish a plan of procedures, look into the "state of the art" by examining other solutions on the web;
  3. Brainstorm -Create simple sketches or lists of as many solutions as possible;
    1. Test the Viability of each suggested solution, and compare each solution to the design criteria, refining and modifying it as required; Do your ideas satisfy the the requirements
  4. Evaluate the solutions (e.g., by testing, modelling, and documenting results) and choose the best one;
  5. Produce a drawing, model, or prototype of the best solution;
  6. Evaluate the prototype and what is required to produce it;
  7. Communicate the solution, using one or more of the following: final drawings, technical reports, electronic presentations, flow charts, storyboards, mockups, prototypes, and so on;
  8. Obtain feedback on the final solution and repeat the design process if necessary to refine or improve the solution.


Exercises - LOGO DESIGN

  1. CyberDog Logo Design - Your task is to create a logo for CyberDog Productions. On paper, Explain or demonstrate each of the FIRST SIX steps of the Design Process as it applies to this challenge. Hint - Begin at step 2 by gathering information from the Wikipedia article on the word "Logo"
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  1. Client Logo Design - Find an organization in the school that would benefit from a custom designed logo. Use the Design Process to develop an original logo for them
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  1. Design Process Logo - Create a graphic symbol to represent the concept of "the Design Process". It should act as a visual reminder of the proper steps, as well as be aesthetically pleasing.