This is a Coursera course.

Part 1: Introduction to Design + User Research

Main 3 steps of the Design process

  1. Define problem
  2. Explore alternatives
  3. Select plan

Problem Definition: 2 parts

Part 1: Articulate problem statement using the 5 whys method Part 2: Identify user needs needs Kano model illustrated above. Best to use for teams in need of guidance to figure out which minimum-threshold features they absolutely must build, which performance features to start investing in now, and which customer-delight features will deliver the biggest customer “Wow!” for the buck.

How to identify user needs?

1 on 1 interviews are the most effective use of time Coding Rule 1: Needs statements are as specific as the raw data Coding Rule 2: Express needs without implying a design concept. Express needs as an attribute of the artifact to be designed. Avoid the words must and should. Arranging hierarchically.

Part 2: Design Concepts & Sketching

Design Exploration

During this phase, we explore different designs that we could use to solve the particular problem.

title: Think on your own before researching online!
In the exploration phase, you should only research competitors after you do your own exploration. That's because, once you've seen this stuff, it does start to anchor your thinking and might be somewhat limiting in terms of your ability to explore outside the boundaries of what you see.

Principle of Decomposition

At the beginning of the design process, we can easily get overwhelmed with the blank sheet of paper. We can use a principle called decomposition to make it easier, which is broken down into 3 steps.

1. Divide into sub-problems

  • Key or latent needs
  • Sequence of user actions
  • By function

2. Solve the sub-problem After the sub-problems are defined, this is where you can start ideating and sketching different things.

3. Integrate solutions This is where you start prototyping and testing out our solutions. It’s a continuous process.


Part 3: Concept Selection and Prototyping

Now that you have several designs, how do you go about selecting which one is the best? Sometimes, it’s very easy, but other times, you might have a difficult time choosing.

Concept Selection Matrix

Criteria: Key Need 1 (ex: quick and easy) key need 2 (ex: removes all material from container) Key need 3 (ex: nice shape to “ball”) Cost Wow Factor Elegance and Beauty

Concept Scoring Matrix (optional) - Weighted concept selection matrix

Making Prototypes

You should take everyday items to make prototypes. Even though it seems amateur, this way of prototyping is standard professional practice.

Simple approaches to prototyping are very standard practice. Because your goal here is for you, as the designer, to be able to learn and explore without incurring a lot of time or expense using professional or elaborate production.

You make the prototypes based on the concept designs.


Aesthetics is not a well defined topic. There’s no step-by-step process for aesthetics. There’s a few key eyes though,

  • gloss,
  • Functional can make it aesthetic
  • The photography can make the product better than it is (stand out)