the design process as it applies to vcaa visual communication design
There are lots of different ways to describe the ways designers work. For our study we call the process they use the 'design process'. It is a special process that takes design from the beginning to the end.
It is said to be cyclical. Cyclical means that instead of having a definate beginning and a clear end, it goes around and around.This means designers don't work in a linear way. They work in a cyclical way, constantly switching between stages of the design process. Each time a designer goes around the design process; from beginning to end this is called an iteration. However, each iteration can be using all the stages of the design process or just going around in one stage.
Here is an index of the design process according to the VCAA. The VCAA is the organisation in charge of our VCE study; Visual Communication Design. The document that has the full details is called the Study Design for Visual Communication Design. You can find it by clicking here. It is the current version released 2013. If you go to page 12 you will find a full description of the Design Process. Broadly, they define each stage as:
This is the first stage of the Design Process. In this stage we write out a description of the need for a design. It is called a Design Brief. It sometimes has a 'fuzzy front end' because we often have to combine it with the next stage, Research before we are fully sure about our ideas.
This section includes:
A description of:
The design need. (Called communication need),
Limitations, expectations, constraints and/ or considerations,
You can see full details of the Design Brief by clicking here.
In order to make new and original designs, designers need to look around for things that might stimulate their imagination. Reasearch is done broadly, to investigate the whole design problem and includes many different elements.
This stage includes:
Collecting images, textures, scrapbooking looking at past, present, like and unlike designs,
In this stage designers try to propose a wide variety of suggestions that could answer the design need. This is very much a 'Green Hat' stage, where designers should not be critical of their ideas, but allow them (good, bad, suitable or not) to flow freely and develop singularly or in strands or groups. Designers use any and every drawing method possible to get their ideas out. These can be 2d or 3d, greylead of coloured. The trick here, is to work as quickly as you can, not pausing to be critical of your work. Students must try not to converge on preferred ideas, but to stay open and divergent, continuing to propose as wide a range of visual ideas as can be imagined!
In this stage designers select preferred ideas and develop them into more feasible design solutions. Although this stage can be seen as a stage of convergence in comparison with the Generation of ideas, students need to ensure that they continue to develop more than one strand or group of ideas or visual suggestions.
Students will use practice creative, critical and reflective thinking during this stage. They will constantly evaluate the suitability of their designs against their brief and document their design thinking in live, written annotations in the pages of their visual diary.
They will also refer to and continue to broaden their reseach as their ideas develop and the become more sure about their actual design directions. Thus, students will demonstrate the true cyclical nature of the design process.
This stage includes:
Selecting preferred design concepts (this means strands or groups of visualisation images),
Trialing a range of materials, methods (both manual and digital) and media,
Experimenting with all of the design elements and principles,
Conducting critical and refelective thinking and documenting design thinking and the process of development and selection of preferred designs,
In the most critical reflective thinking stage, students must evaluate their designs against their brief. They may also ask others to help evaluate their designs. In response to this evaluation, the designs will then be modified prior to production.
It is also the stage where students will choose only one, preferred option to go forward with for refinement and production.
This stage includes:
Formulation of evaluation criteria and conduct of formal and/ or informal evaluation,
Modification of selected design options in respect to;
Materials, methods and/ or media,
Design elements and principles,
Students will continue to document their design process with live annotations describing their process of selection and refinement.