There are five parts to the design process. They include defining the design dilemma, gathering information about the problem, generating design ideas, find solutions to those problems, and employing those solutions. Not all of these steps need to be followed in a precise manner; they can be mixed up to a certain extent.
The first step, defining the problem, and the second, gathering information, can be combined. Since the steps both involve consulting a client, it’s easy to do both in one fell swoop. Sometimes gathering information can be skipped if you have an ongoing relationship with the client. Basically the designer has to confer with the client and outline all of the needs that the client might have and any parameters that need to be met. Next, the designer needs to find out anything and everything that they can about that same problem. This includes such things as market research and sample solutions that other designers may have come up with.
After gathering the information a designer must come up with ideas for the solution. Several methods that could be used in determining a solution are vertical/ horizontal thinking, brainstorming, incubation, notation, synthesis, and ocular reconnaissance. Notation would be the most popular method, where artists create thumbnail sketches.
Finding the solution can be a larger problem. An artist might have several ideas that he likes, and must narrow down those ideas to just one or two that will be presented to the client.
Then the solution must be implemented. Even if a designer comes up with a product that he thinks will work, if the client isn’t satisfied, the work has to all be redone and the designer must start trying to identify another idea.