A design is a blueprint or specifications for the fabrication of a particular object or system, or for the successful implementation of such a plan or specifications in the shape of a finished product, or the eventual result of that design. The verb to design normally refers to the entire process of producing a design, from concept to actual production. It can also mean the procedure by which it is made. Thus, a designer can be called upon to design a construction project, a bridge, an industrial building or even a set of office furniture.
The designing process is usually characterized by the identification of problem solutions, as well as an adequate specification of the problem. This identification of problem and solution enables designers to come up with designs that satisfy various requirements, within the limitations of time, financial resources and technical expertise. Designers can use many different approaches in the designing process. In most cases, however, they follow one of the three following practices. They may specialize in one of them, or they may combine them all.
The first practice used by designers is to adopt a generic design thinking approach. The goal is to find a solution to a generic problem. In this approach, the designer considers the needs of individuals, organizations or the society in general and attempts to provide solutions that address the needs of those involved. In its generic approach, the design thinking approach assumes that the output created by the designer will meet the needs of people involved in some way. On the other hand, the second practice, which is more focused on meeting the specific needs of users, draws from the specific examples and research of human needs.
Another common practice in designing is the use of case studies and related case studies. For example, if an organization wants to improve shipping logistics, it should consider relevant examples in other industries. By studying these industries, the business process improvement initiative can be improved by incorporating lessons learned into its design activity. This approach also helps developers to consider relevant changes in their own industry.
A third common type of design process includes modeling, which makes use of real or common types of objects, combined with generic design ideas. Modeling is most commonly used in education and design. It follows the same process as design thinking, but allows for more concrete results.
Each of these three practices has its own contribution to the efficiency of the design process. Practitioners should be able to differentiate between them and effectively apply them to solve design problems. The common types of these practices are useful for identifying the meaning of human needs, finding models for addressing those needs, and developing relevant changes in industry. The universal design approach, on the other hand, uses the examples of everyday use to provide meaningful general solutions to design problems. Finally, the generic and case studies strategies are applied to the design of infrastructure and products to improve the quality of life. By applying each of these approaches to the current design process, problems are solved that will have a long-lasting impact on how people live.