Design should always be involved in the early phases of projects, right?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Vadim Fomenok on Unsplash
Image for post
Image for post
The “Arcade” space of Viking Grace well displays the standout design features of the ship: improved exposure to the sea and an up-to-date interior design style with a strong focus on light use. Photo by Pekka Murto.

Searching for “the early phase” of complex product development

The first element behind the conclusion I arrived at is about the definition of when and where projects and processes actually begin. Complex development projects may take years of work and tend to result from an accumulation of multiple converging developments over a potentially extended period of time. As a result, defining an exact project start may sometimes be difficult.

A different set of issues to consider

These insights point to that there was not a single “early phase” in the project where all design issues could be defined, but rather multiple early phases where it was possible to influence different design issues in the project. Moreover, given that the needed design capabilities changed over the course of the project, not all designers were involved in the project throughout its duration — nor did they operate as a single and unified group in the project.

Image for post
Image for post
Conceptualisation of how complex product development proceeds as a function of project time x open development issues. The figure can be viewed as an adaptation of the “design spiral” commonly used to illustrate ship design processes. Source: my dissertation, graphic design by Milena Huhta.

Senior Design Researcher, Service & UX Designer at Digitalist Group. Specialised in strategic design, design and complexity, and sustainable design.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store