The Design Process guides any team or individual to find and solve problems. The process is iterative, meaning that we repeat the steps as many times as needed, making improvements along the way as we learn from failure and struggles to uncover new possibilities to arrive at great solutions.
We believe the Design Process is an effective strategy in all content areas, whether designing a lab or learning to write a persuasive essay. The goal is to strengthen teamwork, understanding of open-ended design, brainstorming new ideas, and generally how to utilize content area concepts in creative and practical applications.
Ask (Identify the need)
Ask critical questions about what needs to be created and why. These include: What is the problem to solve? Who is it for? What do we want to accomplish? What are the requirements and limitations? What is the overall goal, and why?
Create (Build models)
Turn the idea and solution into a reality! These include early versions of the final product (i.e. rough drafts) to help verify whether the solution really meets the original objectives and goals. This is a time to push creativity, imagination, and excellence in design.
Use peers and professionals to evaluate the finished process: What works? What doesn’t work? What could be the next steps to evolve this solution into other areas that were not previously considered?
Imagine (Develop solutions)
Brainstorm ideas and develop as many solutions as possible, encouraging and including even the wild ideas, while building on the ideas of each other. These ideas are supported by research, background knowledge, and concurrent learning activities.
Plan (Select solutions)
This can be the hardest step, as needs and constraints need to be revisited, as well as current knowledge on the topic. Best ideas need to be compared so as to select the best solution, and make a plan to move forward with it.
This is a time for discussing with others how the design and product can be improved, and then making revisions to more readily meet the original goals and objectives.