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Developing a Business Plan
Sample Business Plan

The Design Process

     Throughout this course, our students are introduced to the Design Process, commonly used in engineering and business.  The five steps of this process are:

1.  Empathy

     As a design thinker, you must learn that you are not creating for yourself, but for your customer or target audience.  You must put yourself in their shoes and determine what it is that will best serve their needs.  You are trying to get to know your customer and find out what they value/what they want.

2.  Define

     Once you have gathered information on the customer's values and/or needs, you then need to define a plan as to what you are going to truly do/create that will best suit the needs and/or wants of the customer.  You are narrowing down to find out exactly what they want.

3.  Ideate

     This is the brainstorming step.  You start generating as many ideas as possible to find one that best suits the needs of your customer. 

4.  Prototype

     Now comes the part in which students typically like the best... you actually build the prototype!  You take the ideas from the previous step that the customer thinks is best, and then build a prototype.  Your ideas now start to come to life as you create a prototype of the product which you think will satisfy the needs of the consumer.

5.  Test

     The prototype now gets put into the hands of the tester(s).  This may be the individual which you are creating the product for; it might be putting it into a "test market" to see how well it sells, or what aspect of the product seems to bring in the most customers.  

     Once you have done the testing step, then the designer will often refine and go back to the prototype stage to develop an even better product.  Or sometimes, the designer finds that they need to go all the way back to the "old drawing board" and start over from scratch!  And in a nutshell, that is The Design Process!

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