Producing design ideas

Starting with a design brief, a designer may come up with a good idea to solve a problem. Using an iterative design process, a model can be made from a design sketch and then tested against the criteria in the product specification. The test results may suggest failures and modifications required to the design. These changes are evaluated, and then the cycle begins again - until the best solution to the problem is found.

The iterative process in design

To help the designer arrive at the best solution, design ideas should be questioned and reviewed during the design process. This could include:

  • Does it respond to the design brief?
  • Does it meet the criteria set out in the design specification?
  • Can it be manufactured to fit with the budget that has been set and with the ideal selling price?
  • Do the aesthetics appeal to the user?
  • Does it appeal to the users’ cultural values?
  • Could it be sustainable or easily dismantled to be recycled or reused at the end of its life? Consider materials and sources of energy, eg solar or wind
  • How could it be manufactured?

Designers use annotations to explain their sketches and models so that other people will clearly understand their design thinking. They also use annotations when communicating their design ideas to address design issues and approaches.

Showing freehand sketches of a sports bag with detailed sketches of handles, pockets and different colourways.Adding annotations enable designers to justify their design decisions and explain how their ideas work