Is the Journey Really Better than the Destination? A Brief Introduction to Design Thinking.
May 28, 2020 | WRITTEN BY: Environmental Design Group
Written by: Creative Designer, Louis Marchand
While we can’t directly answer this philosophical question, we can certainly explain how it neatly fits into the design process. Take a logo design project for instance. The consumer typically only sees the finished product: the clever combination of color and shapes that tells you exactly what you need to know about a company. Consequently, one could easily surmise that the destination is more important than the journey. After all, no one sees the ropes and pulleys that brought it all together, right?
The journey may not be better than the destination, but it’s just as significant. For designers, the journey, formalized as Design Thinking, allows for specific, meaningful movement through a project from conception to the final, polished result. Design Thinking is the designer’s scientific method. It has been studied and distilled into five concise steps that can be adapted to any project.
The empathy stage allows designers to get to the proverbial heart of the issue. There is a pain point and desired result; designers seek to examine this. Empathizing is an exercise in perspective and understanding, often on deeper levels than the casual audience might expect. This allows designers to have a unique ability to grasp the needs of their clients and never lose sight of the end goal.
The defining stage actualizes the knowledge we gained from the previous stage. Here, we can begin seeing actionable items and a strategy for success. Whereas the empathize stage asks “why,” the define stage asks “what”. We’ll need some specifics before we move on.
We have an understanding and a plan; now we can get into it! The research and innovation phase is experimental. Before we put pen to paper, we need to know what our parameters are, what colors make sense, and what styles we can appropriately use. We have our written definitions, but how do we apply this visually?
The penultimate phase is creativity unleashed! We understand that even from the beginning, not every client is exactly sure what they’re looking for. That’s what we’re here for. Concepting is crucial to the design process in pushing boundaries and thinking outside of the box. The wildest concept most likely won’t be the final result, but there might be an element within that design you can’t live without! Endless possibilities abound!
Once a concept is selected, it needs to be perfected. The final stage is the most delicate. For instance, designing a correctly balanced logo means landing somewhere between too complex and too simple. Color must be fine-tuned and tested. We can poll various people to discover if a certain shade of yellow makes them queasy or if red feels too brash and bold in a specific design. Every pixel counts in design and every decision must be made consciously to ensure every design is good.
The takeaway? As designers like to emphasize, “trust the process”! Design Thinking is the fabled “process”! It is an established method to think critically and problem-solve. It effectively and efficiently moves a project forward to completion.
This methodology can apply to more than just graphic design. In fact, Design Thinking is a valuable tool to problem-solve and is slowly permeating various industries. Most processes can use a little design in the mix. EDG Creative understands the importance of the design process in our projects. We love the destination, but we also appreciate and recognize the necessity of the journey. Seeking the most polished product usually isn’t the result of a brilliant flash of inspiration, but rather pragmatic research and understanding. It’s what proves our expertise and ability to deliver.
Our advice? Celebrate the destination, appreciate the journey, and always trust the process!