You are previewing The Design Method: A Philosophy and Process for Functional Visual Communication.
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The Design Method: A Philosophy and Process for Functional Visual Communication

Book Description

Feeling uninspired? That shouldn’t keep you from creating great design work. Design is not about luck, inspiration, or personal expression. Design is a disciplined pursuit aimed at producing sensible, functional work for clients. In¿The Design Method,¿you’ll learn how to create quality design work on a regular basis that consistently pleases your clients using the same method that Creative Director Eric Karjaluoto uses at his creative agency, smashLAB.¿The Design Method¿will teach you a proven, repeatable process for solving visual communication problems.

In this book, you will learn:

  • Ways to conduct research and gain insight into your clients’ situations

  • A process for establishing strategies and plans for your projects

  • How to develop a cohesive concept and visual direction for each client/job

  • An iterative approach to prototype, test, refine, and produce effective design

  • Techniques for presenting and documenting creative work

  • Tips for making your design studio operate efficiently and consistently

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication Page
  4. Praise for The Design Method
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. Introduction
  8. Chapter 1. Debunking the Creative Myths
    1. Understanding the Myths
    2. Myth: Design Is Art’s Cousin
    3. Myth: Originality Exists
    4. Myth: Different Is Good
    5. Myth: You Must Seek Inspiration
    6. Myth: Brilliance Matters
    7. Myth: Design Is a Lifestyle
    8. Myth: Personal Voice Is Key
    9. Myth: Designers Are Smarter than Their Clients
    10. Myth: Designers Are the Audience
    11. Myth: Awards Count
    12. Myth: Creative People Needn’t Play by the Rules
    13. Myths Have a Price
    14. Up Next
  9. Chapter 2. Creating Purposeful Design
    1. A Utilitarian Pursuit
    2. Form Follows Function
    3. Restrain Yourself
    4. Look for Problems
    5. Own the Role
    6. Eschew Ambiguity
    7. Create Order
    8. Make Design that Works
    9. Achieve Suitability
    10. Uncover Possibility
    11. Design Is Everywhere
    12. Up Next
  10. Chapter 3. Achieving Order Through Systems
    1. Thinking in Systems
    2. Design Gets Messy
    3. Reckless Decisions Come at a Price
    4. Trends Are Your Enemy
    5. Systems Inform Design
    6. You Face Many Questions
    7. Determining Relationships in a Design System
    8. Learning from Interaction Design
    9. Organizing Information
    10. Thinking About Visuals in Systems
    11. Liberate Yourself
    12. Systems Lead to Good Design
    13. Up Next
  11. Chapter 4. Introducing The Design Method
    1. Presenting The Design Method
    2. The Fundamental Stages of The Design Method
    3. How The Design Method Came to Be
    4. The Method as a Funnel
    5. Only One Concept (or Design Direction)
    6. The Design Method Works
    7. Design Methodology in Increasingly Varied Settings
    8. Up Next
  12. Chapter 5. Gaining Understanding: The Discovery Stage
    1. Discovery is About Knowledge
    2. Entering Foreign Territory
    3. Assume You’re Wrong
    4. Start Asking Questions
    5. Get a Handle on the Basics
    6. Get Firsthand Knowledge
    7. Set Up Discussion Sessions with Clients and Stakeholders
    8. Find Underlying Problems
    9. Identify the Audience
    10. Interview Customers and Users
    11. Recognize the Discrepancy Between What People Say and Do
    12. Survey the Competition
    13. Examine Parallel Offerings
    14. Audit the Current State
    15. Batten Down the Details
    16. Always Seek Out Opportunity
    17. Keep Turning Over Rocks
    18. Up Next
  13. Chapter 6. Determining Course: The Planning Stage
    1. Design is a Plan
    2. Creating a Sensible Plan
    3. Establishing Goals and Objectives
    4. Determining Strategy
    5. Playing Hunches
    6. Shaping Your Plan
    7. Planning for Interaction
    8. Developing Personas
    9. Scenarios, User Stories, and Use Cases
    10. Flowcharting Actions
    11. Planning a Sitemap
    12. Developing a Content Inventory
    13. Building Wireframes
    14. Determining Content Strategy
    15. Recognizing the Traps of Shadow Planning
    16. Challenging Approaches and Beliefs
    17. Making Recommendations
    18. Crafting the Creative Brief
    19. Preparing Documentation
    20. Keeping Your Design Project Moving
    21. Up Next
  14. Chapter 7. Working with Ideas: The Creative Stage
    1. “Oh Yes Indeed, It’s Fun Time...”
    2. The Creative Conundrum
    3. Being a Methodical Designer
    4. Some Key Principles for Developing Creative Work
    5. Considering Tone
    6. How to Generate Ideas
    7. Generating Ideas and Breaking Creative Blocks
    8. Editing Your Ideas
    9. Documenting the Creative Concept
    10. Creative Evaluation
    11. Determining Design Direction with Style Boards
    12. Fostering a Collaborative Process
    13. Getting Buy-in from Your Client
    14. Up Next
  15. Chapter 8. Making Design Real: The Application Stage
    1. Applying Your Creative Direction
    2. Iteration: A Process of Refinement
    3. Building Prototypes
    4. Getting Around Obstacles
    5. Using Placeholder and Actual Content
    6. Determining the DNA
    7. Showing Prototypes to Your Client
    8. Testing Your Approach and Prototypes
    9. Analyzing Test Results
    10. Refining Your Work Continually
    11. Producing Your Design
    12. Keep an Eye on the Brief
    13. Get Nervous about Pesky Logistics
    14. Prepare Checklists and Track Issues
    15. Catching Mistakes Before Going Live
    16. Getting Ready to Ship
    17. Up Next
  16. Chapter 9. Presenting Work to Clients
    1. Managing Client Interaction for Success
    2. Moving Beyond Name Calling
    3. Your Client’s Reality
    4. Communicate Well (and Perhaps Excessively)
    5. Involve the Decision Makers
    6. Defining Roles
    7. Edit for Your Clients
    8. Preparing for Your Presentation
    9. Skip the “Thrilling” Unveil
    10. How to Lead a Presentation
    11. Stemming Prejudgment of Creative Work
    12. Presenting Creative Work to Large Organizations
    13. Documenting Planning, Ideas, and Design
    14. Up Next
  17. Chapter 10. Bringing Order to Your Practice
    1. Are You a Professional or Hobbyist?
    2. Find Order in All Aspects of Your Profession
    3. Define Procedural Systems
    4. Replicate Successful Procedures
    5. Meetings and Huddles
    6. Ball in Play Workflow
    7. Essential Tools and Techniques
    8. Keep “Shipping”
    9. Achieving Mastery
  18. Suggested Reading
  19. Acknowledgments
  20. Index
  21. About the Author