Delft Design Approach - week 4

Last week was all about defining the design challenge. Having a well-defined design challenge, is a tremendous help in trying to design a solution to a problem. Something that a lot of people do, is to try and design something without guidance… without constraints.

However, what happens then is that the design can get out of hand. It deviates from the problem you’re trying to solve, it becomes overly complicated because you want to solve that extra little problem you encountered as well, or you get stuck because you’ve become lost in a sea of possibilities.

A design challenge is about setting constraints for the design. You figure out exactly;

  • who has the problem,
  • what is the problem,
  • what the relevant context factors are,
  • if there are any side-effects you have to avoid
  • and what actions you want to happen.

All this is gathered in one, clear sentence that encapsulates everything you want to accomplish in your design. It helps you focus on the important parts (the rest is left out) and maybe even more important, it gives you a tool to talk about your design with others. With this sentence as a guide, you can create a heap of preliminary requirements to further guide your design.

For example, this was my design challenge:

I want early commuters to feel structured and relaxed, being able to finish breakfast and leave home unhurried, because unstressed allows them to eat better and be more healthy and feel better about work, giving them more satisfaction.

Even shorter, I want early commuters to be able feel relaxed, despite their time constraints and to finish breakfast properly and go to work ready to rock it!

Once again, if you’re interested, you can download my finished template. You can also view the video below, though it’s mute and boring this time :(

On the joy of templates…

This week confirmed it again; the templates are a joy to work with. This might only be obvious because I tend to do the assignments in a bit of a hurry, but they are excellent in guiding not only beginning designers, but time-constrained designers as well.

I can only imagine how much time went into them, because they’re easy to follow, fun to complete and great to read afterwards.

Kudo’s to the #delftxdesign team!

Other posts about this course: Prologue, week 1, week 2 week 3