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My Favorite Design Process Visualization

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 | Posted by Ryan Hubbard

Every design firm (and many individual designers) have their own version of  ”The Design Process Graphic.”  Jon showed his yesterday in our first class, and Laura walked through hers today during our second.  I thought I’d add to the conversation and share my personal favorite process graphic, the Design Squiggle that’s used by the California-based firm Central:

Central Story Design Process Squiggle

I like how up front it is about the messiness that’s inherent in the design process.  Most design process graphics are much cleaner and structured, though most designers will readily tell you that it’s an idealized version of the process.  With the Design Squiggle, you don’t have to make that caveat. It lets you inform the client immediately that the journey won’t be straight forward, but that if you trust the process, good results will come out of it (and you back that up with concrete stories of success).

If you’d like to see a collection of other interesting process graphics, Nathan Cooke has a great collection on his blog.  Anyone else have a personal favorite?

2 Comments »
  • http://saranyan.com Saranyan

    Probably, we can get somebody to draw a concept sketch (Alex, where r u?) – A curly hair dude whose left ear indicates the beginning and his right ear is the end. Everything in the middle is anyway as messy as his hair. ;)

  • http://www.sodelightful.com Christina Tran

    i like the squiggles, and i also am immediately drawn to any of the diagrams that were not linear in shape, but rather circular. but then i would hope that we grow from our past work, so when i tried to doodle a diagram, it incorporates a spiral (hopefully up, not down). i feel like each step/stage of the process is informed by past work and fuels future data and it all grows and grows and then there is also no real “end point.” in practice, there has to be one, but in reality and within a larger context, not so much.