Engineering Design Process: A step-by-step guide

Introduction

Before understanding the fact, what is “Engineering Design Process” let’s think about what is Engineering design.

Engineering Design is a methodology that has been used by engineers to solve problems. Cognitive tools such as brainstorming, reasoning by analogy, mental models, and visual representations are used by engineers to modify the world.

Engineering Design Thinking

Learn About Different Models Of Engineering Design:

1. Engineering design is purposeful. the method always begins with a particular goal. Because if it were a journey, it might be one with a selected destination – not a random sightseeing trip.

2. Engineering design is “design under constraint.” Designers must choose solutions that include the foremost desired features and fewest negative characteristics.

But they need to stay the restrictions of the given scenario, because it could include time, cost, and therefore the physical limits of tools and materials.

3. Engineering design is systematic and iterative. it’s a process that has steps that will be repeated, although not always within the same order. Steps include things like planning, modeling, testing, and improving designs.

4. Engineering design may be a social, collaborative enterprise. This process is usually wiped out small teams that include people with different sorts of knowledge. As designers are continuously communicating with clients, team members, et al..

Design Thinking

On differentiating the 2 words, what we understand intentionally “creativity” and by Thinking we get “problem-solving”. Although the words Design Thinking defines that it’s a process for creative problem solving, and it is an answer based approach to problem-solving.

Design thinking features an ultimate process in use today with many variants from three to seven phases, stages and modes. Design Thinking Principles are first outlined by Nobel prize laureate Herbert Simon in 1969.

As we mentioned above within the definition, it’s an answer based approach. Let’s understand the difference between Solution Based and Problem Based Thinking.

What Is Problem & Solution Based Thinking?

Problem Based Thinking features a limited approach which causes obstacles. On the other hand Solution Based Thinking is completely opposite because it focuses on finding a solution. And it comes up with the constructive idea and tackle the matter with effective solution.

A good example of those two approaches in action is an empirical study administered by Bryan Lawson, a Professor of Architecture at the University of Sheffield. Lawson wanted to research how a gaggle of designers and a gaggle of scientists would approach a specific problem.

He set each group the task of making one-layer structures from a group of coloured blocks.

Types Of Problems (Wicked vs Tame)

Abraham Maslow once said, “If the sole tool you’ve got maybe a hammer, you tend to ascertain every problem as a nail.”

Overview Of Tame Problem

Suppose you’ve got a bottle of whiskey and you’ve got invited your two friends for a drink. One among them said he has two more people with him “ now you think that a bottle of whiskey is enough” well this will be easily resolved if you multiply the number of a single drink. This an example of Tame problem.

Overview Of Wicked Problems

Now coming to Wicked ones, they’re everywhere within the world and business too.

Suppose you owned a startup and as we all know startups have their own unique problems like resolving the conflict between different departments – it doesn’t have a replica book solution, got to think innovative and have out of the box approach.

As this is often a Wicked problem, which has no permanent solution. You’ve got to approach accordingly and precisely to things.

Design Thinking Process

Implementation of the method is often through different approaches to different contexts. Nowadays, the company is using the method to scale their organizations and merchandise with innovative and out-of-the-box thinking.

“Bottom line for the method is Business outcomes”.

Design Thinking Workshop

One of the foremost common ways to realize goals through Design Thinking Process is to possess a Design Thinking Workshop.

You ought to tackle the precise problem with a fanatical workshop which will take you thru Empathizing to Defining or Ideate the Prototype and Final Testing.

What are the stages of Design Thinking Process?

                                              

Stages Of Design Thinking Process

1. Empathize

For a human-centric approach, it is the most crucial point for a human-centered design process such as Design Thinking. As it allows you to get inside the mind of the user and see what they want and what is the real need of the people besides the assumptions of design thinkers.

Gathering the sizeable information, that will help to understand user needs and problems and take it to the next steps of development.

2. Define (Problems and Insights)

Well, this stage is all about defining the problems you need to solve. Analyze the gathered information in the last stage(empathize)  and define the core problem.

As it will lead you to target the real needs of the people.

This stage will help you to generate great ideas and innovative approach.

3. Ideate( Innovation)

As you can understand with the name of this stage “ Ideate”.

 “How you create an innovation”?

For innovation you need to have questions like what, why, how about the product. The question you’re thinking about or discussing with your team will lead you to create an innovation that will solve problems.

For the design process, you need to think out of the box and think multiple solutions to the problems. 

You need to view the problem from different aspects.

4. Prototype ( Creating Solutions)

Now the work of the design team starts.

They need to create the different versions of the product with specific features and explore the problem solutions created in the previous stages.

Implement the solutions and analyze the designs either accepted, rejected or re-examined. Because during the phase of creating prototype always keep in mind that it gives a clear view of real-world users respond to it, engagement of the users will be important.

5. Testing (Solutions)

This is the final stage of the model, the results you get in this stage will lead to re-define the problems.

That will give you a better understanding of your users.

You can do the experiments to gain a core understanding of the product and users. Testing will give you a great understanding of the problems and teach you more about your users.

Principles Of Design Thinking Process

principle of design thinking

In the world of digitalization, technology is no more a factor for innovation, because it is a facilitator to measure the real needs of people. As the most important key is to provide value to people.

Innovation has a ratio of 50:50 between success and failure.

There is a very thin line between finding the real need of people and making a tool that focused to change the manner without finding the help for their daily problems. All it takes is the value defined with the innovation.

Principles

Let us show you the three key principles of Design Thinking that led you to success with this methodology in the innovation process:

1. Problem Solving

2. Human-Centric Design

3. Iterative Approach

1. Problem Solving

Albert Einstein said, “ We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”.

Design Thinking methodology is to cut off the problems and provide the best solutions for the problem, this is what we call innovation.

Viewing a problem as a challenge will lead you to expand and explore new experiences of problem-solving. Seeing the problem with a customer point of view will create a solution that makes an impact on people life.

2. Human-Centric Design

 Be a “People’s Champ”.

To meet the real needs of the people, you need to keep the “people-first”. This approach will create a real solution that leads to intercept the real needs of the user.

This approach is known as a bottom-up approach, with this we analyze the pain points and engage the user directly to the business objective.

If the user is engaged with the solution design phase, it will be a lot easier to adapt to the final solution.

3. Iterative Approach

There’s always room for improvement.

An iterative approach is the best thought of as a cyclical process, as it takes you to the results quickly.

After the initial planning phase, a small handful of stages are on repeating mode, with each completion of a cycle, it will incrementally improve the solution.

Real-World Applications Of Design Thinking

Design thinking has become an essential thing in the process of making or innovating something.

Implementation of this methodology is useful for the people of different fields and organizations.

Design thinking is the mid-way for analytical and intuitive thinking. But design thinking makes the use of both approaches and creates a real solution.

In Business

Optimization of the product is very important in business, as you have to deal with product creation, marketing and renewal of contracts. Design thinking helps you to focus on these aspects.

In Information Technology Industry

Well you know the IT industry requires trials and variation in concepts. It needs to understand the real problems of its users. This is where design thinking helps a lot to create different ideas and solutions to the problems.

In Education Industry

In the education sector, the most important aspect is the feedback of the students on their requirements and challenges they are facing. As design thinking helps to manage feedbacks and create new ideas to enhance the experience of students.

Conclusion

Design thinking is the process made up of two fundamental tasks, Analysis and Synthesis.

It starts with reductionism that involves the breakdown of a problem into smaller segments, each segment has experts working on them to generate ideas.

On the other hand, synthesis takes one problem at a time, that creates reliability of the solution.

In the world of digitalization, you need to define the problems and go through the process of problem-solving.

Design thinking provides you with a different point of view of the problems that help you create realistic solutions.

All I want to ask is? Have you made up your mind to go through the process of design thinking? If yes, we can contribute to your innovation.

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