What to know?

Design Knowledge

It is the body of knowledge relied upon and used by designers. This body relates to either the design project, the design process or the design context.

Project Knowledge

It relates to the project brief, specifications and requirements. It also relates to the stakeholders, end users and secondary users of the designed project.

In general project knowledge is what is needed to understand the project and what design work needs to be done.

Process Knowledge

It is the knowledge about the process of running a design project. How to organise workload, tasks, milestones, deliverables etc etc...

For each project you need to have a methodical organised approach that is tailored to the specifics of the project, in particular the timeline and the resources at your disposal.

Context Knowledge

One does not design in dreamland, there is a context to your project. Trends, current practices and habits as well as similar projects are valuable sources of knowledge. Knowing the context helps you deliver up to date, contemporary and relevant design.

This is where general knowledge, trendspotting, curiosity and a flair for "what is going on" are of most value...

 

A complete design knowledge should allow you to answer the followings:

  1. WHO - For whom is the design? Stakeholders, end users, other users...
  2. WHAT - What are you designing? You should be able to answer that in a simple English sentence.
  3. HOW - How does it work, what does it do...
  4. WHERE - Which location or context are best for using your design...
  5. WHEN - When should it be used, when is it purposeful or useful...
  6. WHY - What benefits has your design, what problems does it solve...