Episode #121
The Process

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No matter what you’re designing, designers have a special code we all follow. It’s called The Process.

Music and links from this episode

  1. Gorgon by Jesse Spillane
  2. No sudden movements by rui
  3. Interstate 70 Rain Chants by Fields Ohio

Line-by-line notes

  1. Buildings
  2. Bridges
  3. Roads
  4. Websites
  5. Restaurant menus
  6. They’ll all made by following a set process
  7. This process, whilst usually similar for every designer
  8. Allows designers all over the world to make very special things
  9. This is AADA, and I’m Craig Burgess
  10. MUSIC
  11. A problem
  12. Every design process
  13. Whether you’re designing a city or designing a business card
  14. Begins with a problem
  15. Design only really has one purpose: to solve problems
  16. And if there’s no problem to solve, there’s no point designing anything
  17. These problems range from simple stuff like a problem of a business not looking professional enough
  18. To complicated problems like too many traffic jams on a particular road
  19. You can’t find a solution, until you’ve identified the problem
  20. And the design process is the only one that can solve such a problem
  21. After that, designers start to collect information to understand the problem
  22. This step is a mix of research and finding inspiration
  23. By seeing what others have done before, you can analyse what went wrong
  24. And of course, what went right and what you may want to emulate
  25. I’ve been pretty vocal in some past episodes about the inspiration gathering step
  26. And being very careful not to cross the line of inspiration to downright copying other’s work
  27. Now comes the fun part, ideas generation
  28. This is my favourite part of any design project
  29. Being alone with a sketchbook and working on ideas
  30. Younger designers too often skip this step, or go about it in the wrong way
  31. The point of the ideas step is to indiscriminately create ideas
  32. That is, to create ideas without thinking they’re good, bad, or anything else
  33. At this step, it doesn’t matter if your idea is bad
  34. Or if you think you’ve found a solution to the design problem
  35. That is not the point here, it’s just to let your brain be free
  36. And make ideas
  37. And then take those ideas, and turn them into solutions
  38. This is a really difficult step, because now you’ve got so many ideas
  39. You need to analyse them, and work out which ones are good
  40. Or appropriate solutions
  41. Lots of designers like to leave this step to their clients
  42. They’ll create quite a few ideas, and ask their clients to pick which is their favourite
  43. I prefer to be much more critical at this stage
  44. And I normally only present one solution to a client
  45. If we give the client the choice, we’ll either end up with a frankestein’s monster of a design with lots of solutions turned into one
  46. Or we’ll end up with the solution we like the least
  47. It isn’t the client’s place to do our job for use at this stage
  48. And we need to be ruthless and pick the best solution for the job
  49. This slots neatly into feedback
  50. This is the stage which can cause the most problems in the design process if not handled properly
  51. A client isn’t usually experienced in the design process
  52. And we ask them which one they like the most
  53. This is not the correct question to ask them
  54. We should be asking them which is most appropriate
  55. The one that is the best solution to the design problem is the best
  56. And we need to make sure we tell our clients that too
  57. The final step
  58. Is improve
  59. In lots of design projects, we may go back and forth between feedback and improve
  60. Before we get the best solution
  61. And that’s OK
  62. So long as we’re working towards the same goal
  63. To make the best solution for the design problem we’ve set
  64. It’s amazing when you think about it
  65. That no matter what you’re designing
  66. This process is largely similar across any medium
  67. It’s really special
  68. And also quite humbling
  69. MUSIC
  70. This was AADA, and I’m Craig Burgess
  71. The music featured in this episode was
    1. Gorgon by Jesse Spillane
    2. No sudden movements by rui
    3. Interstate 70 Rain Chants by Fields Ohio
  72. For a line by line rundown of this episode go over to askadesigneranything dot com/ep121
  73. I’m back tomorrow

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