MAKING CHOICES IN DESIGN: THE DESIGN PROCESS

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One of the most important skills that someone can have is to be punctual. This does not just mean to be on time for work. What I mean is that any employee working in any field should be able to meet deadlines. As many of you probably know, designing is not a fast process. This is why most designers need a formula to help get the job done within the allotted amount of time.

Following an outlined design process will help out greatly to achieve a unique and effective design as quickly as possible, and excel at your job. The process will vary from designer to designer but only slightly. For the most part you want to obtain your objective, brainstorm like crazy, present your ideas, and refine the selections to the point where a final product can be chosen. If time permits, here is a good step by step on how to design:

1. The Objective
Your client, or supervisor will come to you and explain what is desired. Sometimes in design, your goals aren’t clearly laid out for you. At times like these, you need to remember to question exactly what the client wants, and if they don’t know exactly what they want, that’s your clue to be as creative as you desire. Start throwing out any ideas that come to mind and think creatively with the client to try to narrow down the objective.

2. Brainstorming
In this stage, you will want to research your topic and especially figure out who the target audience is. Jot down some ideas you think might work. This is your chance to come up with some unique and creative solutions to your problem. Be sure to capture all of your thoughts and ideas because you may need to come back to them over and over again.

3. Sketch
Now, you have to put all of your research and good thoughts on paper (or on screen). Be sure to step back from your work and attempt to analyze what is working and not working. Also, make sure you get other peoples’ opinions on your designs. It always helps to hear outsider and insider opinions. Never forget that everyone has creative ideas and their two cents can sometimes help you find your solution faster.

4. Present Ideas
It is time to show your ideas off to the client (or supervisor). Always remember when people criticize your work it is usually for the best, especially if they know what they want. Constructive criticism is quite helpful. Do not take offense if someone does not like your design. You will take these thoughts and use them in the next step. Always remember that the way you present this work can have a profound impact on how the ideas are received by the client. Professionalism is the key to win over the client’s trust and lead to more work. So don’t just make sure your designs are effective, make sure your presentation is as well.

5. Refine/Conclude
Now that the client has directed you to come to a conclusion, you can narrow down and refine your previous ideas. Once you are done, hopefully your goal will be accomplished, and all parties will be completely satisfied.

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