The design process is a little different for each design. No matter what you are designing though it is usually is never a straight path, there are always forks and turns that lead you to that ideal solution and final product.
Defining The Problem
Defining the problem is one of the most important steps. Why? Identify the problem from all aspects and how it fully affects the user is key in finding a solution that fully solves the problem by addressing all aspects.
Research is key to finding a solution that not only solves the defined problem but does not create new problems. Also researching to make sure it isn’t a solution that has been patented or previously created.
Creating a solution is not always as simple as, we did the research and here is the plan. Great solutions come at the right moment. One thing most people don’t think about is Incubation, which is a key component of design work. Incubation is where you start thinking about a problem and start creating solutions and possibly solving it subconsciously. (Ex: That shower thought you have to solve a problem is because of the incubation process.) Sometimes it is quick and other times it takes a while while to create a solution that really solves the problem.
The construction of the idea is a test of the theoretical solution. This trial and error irons out the problems and all possible hiccups. This is key and stressful time as it validates the solution or puts you back a square one.
Feedback is key to the success of design process. At this point if the same people have been working on the same project the need for a new perspective to step in an point out any flaws or other possibilities is high. Getting customer feedback also helps to make sure the project is on track before it is too late. Making sure that the designs match what the client had in their mind and works as they thought or better is key to the product's success.
Taking all of this, modeling everything together into one experience and finishing the project. All of these steps together gets you here to the final product.