Design is the process of creating something new. It's an art, a science, and a craft.
The noun "design" has a wide range of uses in everyday life: from clothing to furniture to technology, you'll find it in everything around us. But what exactly is design?
Design can be used as a noun when we're talking about specific designs—like the design of your favorite pants or shirt—or as a verb when we're describing how something was designed. "I designed this shirt."
Design as process describes the steps involved in designing something new: research, planning, brainstorming, sketching and prototyping, testing and iteration…and then finally delivery! It's not just about making things; it's about making them well. It's about having a vision for what you want to create and then finding ways to get there with materials that are available at hand and skills that are already learned.
Kathryn Best notes in her book Design Management: Managing Design Strategy, Process and Implementation:
“Design describes both the process of making things (designing) and the product of this process (a design). … The activity of designing is a user-centered, problem-solving process….” — Kathryn Best
For this blog, I tried to find an apt definition of design, let’s consider some other good definitions.
Kim Goodwin’s Designing for the Digital Age gives this definition of design:
“Design is the craft of visualizing concrete solutions that serve human needs and goals within certain constraints.”—Kim Goodwin
In the Cox Review of Creativity in Business, Sir George Cox, former Chairman of the UK’s Design Council defines design as follows:
“Design is what links creativity and innovation. It shapes ideas to become practical and attractive propositions for users or customers. Design may be described as creativity deployed to a specific end.” —Sir George Cox
To sum it up, Design is the creative process in which we use our intuition and analytical ability to understand the opportunities and constraints business goals, competitive markets, customer needs, and technologies present, then envision, communicate, and realize practical solutions that meet customer needs and create business value.
It's about finding ways to make things better. It's about making people's lives easier. It's about being able to solve problems that we hadn't even realized existed before we started working on them.