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