Product/UX Designer

Design Process

 

DESIGN IS AN ACTION.

It is a verb. It is about to get things moving, proceeding, iterating and terminating. Design action is both a journey and a destination. The journey has to do with change, and the destination with ends, or outcomes.

CONVERSATION

Everybody designs sometimes; nobody designs always. Design is not the monopoly of those who call themselves “Designers.” 5

RESOLVE/COMING TO A REST

Design is always in a pursuit for an appearing, a resolution, a termination as a response to the conflicting situation. Misfit provides an incentive to change. Good fit provides none. The process is eventually bound to reach the equilibrium of well-fitting forms. 7

GOOD JUDGMENT

Designers should be self aware of their power of changing the world. This clear awareness can be gained through reflection-in-action and reflection-on-action of what needs to be added and what can be taken away, what is better and what is worse.

SERVE FOR OTHERS

Service is a full partnership between those being served and a design team, working on a conspiracy—in other words, a breathing together. 8 It's the purposefulness sets the design and art apart. Design solves problems of others and has a clear reason behind it.

ENDLESS UNFOLDING PROCESS

A plan for curating a party is obviously harder than a decision to be made of which movie to go to due to the options of going to a movie is fairly well defined. It must be designed to be like such a easy decision making process before. On the other hand, the set of all possible “parties” is a non-countable one. 6 Design has no absolute answer. If there is one, it would be “It depends”.

 

TO MAKE, REWORK AND KNOW WHEN IT IS GOOD ENOUGH (PROCESS, FLOW AND KEY ACTIVITIES)

Designing, so considered, has a flavor of ancient Greece. Its study is a branch of poetics, derived from the Greek poiein, “to make”. 7

RESEARCH

To research, as the word indicates, it is an act of re-search. To look again and defamiliarize with the subject matter, we about to learn. Designer's ability and willingness to empathize with their user will most likely take them to a different place with a stronger emotional connection.

SKETCH

Sketch is a carefree way of expressing. It allows designers to try within a safe environment or entitlement. It is not serious, really not meant to be. It has a playful aspect to it. The quantity outweighs the quality and everything are expected to be vague and shaky. It reflects a tension between what’s real and what’s ideal. It is an effort of removing from what is concrete out there in the world and an increasing enter into a world that hasn’t existed yet. It's a cheap yet effective tool to navigate through ambiguities and settle unstable factors.

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ITERATION

Design is a process of making close approximations, the closest possible, to these idealistic desires. 8 Without the process of weighing, it is impossible to evaluate if it is getting closer to the state of balance.

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DELIVER

Deliver is an act of termination. To nail down one thing and to save it from escaping away from designers. Designers work with constraints such as limited time, limited budget to reach a status of balance with tradeoffs.

REFLECT

The truth is that learning to become a designer is a process of never ending “becoming.” One doesn’t stop becoming a designer when one turns to “being” a designer in practice. 11 To become a better designer is keep moving, towards a preferred situation and to become a better self.

 

DESIRABLE CHARACTERISTICS OF DESIGN OUTCOME

ENSOULED(BEING NOTICED AND TAKEN CARE OF)

To ensoul a design is to evoke energy and life. 9

When we encounter a design’s essence or soul, our basic assumptions and world views are most likely to be challenged. Something profound happens to us as a consequence of our encountering a design at the level of its ensoulment. Our understanding of the world, of our own place in it and our core judgments, all are changed. 9

Soul is the animating essence of the original unifying design parti. It denotes a design that has both intrinsic value and relational meaning. We experience this form of the soul when we encounter a design with a unified coherence, in relationship to something giving it meaning. Such a design is sometimes described as having “integrity” and “wholeness”; or of being “rich,” “deep,” and “authentic.” All of these words point to the fact that such a design has a depth and complexity that are not easily discerned.9

MOVE PEOPLE

A design must also be valued and judged by the experience it evokes—how it “moves” people, and by the aesthetic nature of the design as a whole (Dewey 1934). This has to do with relations and connections, with balance and the other aesthetic relationships connecting all possible aspects of the design (Janlert and Stolterman 1997). 9

CARE FOR USE AND DEVELOPMENT

Another aspect of ensouled designs is related to the notion of caring. By ensouling our designs, we create a desire in others to care for their future use and development. 9 Once designed, no matter it is an interface or an artifact, it will take on the life of its own. Impactful design invites discussions and recreations.

CHANGE IS UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. DESIGNER INITIATES, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, A TURBULENCE. AWAKE HOPES AND POSSIBILITIES FROM SLEEPING.

REFERENCES
1. Cross, Nigel. (2001). Designerly Ways of Knowing: Design Discipline Versus Design Science. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Design Issues: Vol 17, Number 3, Summer 2001.
2. Friedman, Ken. (2003). Theory construction in design research: criteria: approaches, and methods. Design
Studies: Vol 24, No. 6, November 2003.
3. Nelson, Harold G and Stolterman, Erik. (2012). The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World. The MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, London England. P1-P23
4. Heskett, John. Design: A Very Short Introduction. (2002). Oxford University Press Inc.: Oxford, New York.
5. Rittel, Horst W.J. “The Reasoning of Designers”. Arbeitspapier zum International Congress on Planning and Design Theory in Boston, August 1987. Schriftenreihe des Instituts fuer Grundlagen der Planung, Universitaet Stuttgart 1988.
6. Hatchuel, Armand. “Towards Design Theory and Expandable Rationality: The Unfinished Program of Herbert Simon.” Roundtable ‘Cognition, Rationality and Governance’.
7. Schon, Donald A. (1990). “The design process.” Varieties of Thinking: Essays from Harvard’s Philosophy of Education Research Center. Routledge, Chapman and Hall, Inc.: United States of America and Great Britain.
8. Nelson, Harold G and Stolterman, Erik. (2012). The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World. The MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, London England. P27-P56
9. Nelson, Harold G and Stolterman, Erik. (2012). The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World. The MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, London England. P105-P138
10. Nelson, Harold G and Stolterman, Erik. (2012). The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World. The MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, London England. P201-P212
11. Nelson, Harold G and Stolterman, Erik. (2012). The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World. The MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, London England. P239-P259