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The ultimate guide for design (Updated 2018)






The Ultimate Guide

What is “Design”?

What do we understand when we hear the word: “design”? Design is the creation of a plan or convention for the construction of an object, system or measurable human interaction.

They say that the word design originates from latin word “designare”. Designare means to trace out. Obviously those times it would refer to a plan drawn on a paper, but now most of the design is made on computers in electronic formats.

Design is a way of explaining ideas and solving problems. Design is a plan to achieve an objective. Designers are trying to give people messages using their designs. Designs can be made of shapes, configurations, patterns or ornamentation. Artistic use of these tools brings an explanation. There are different kinds of designs.

Types of Design

It’s very hard to note down the types of designs since there are too many. Some of the classical ones include: industrial design, graphic design, engineering design, web design, interior design.. But in the new age new ones are getting introduced like service design, mobile phone app design, user experience design, user interaction design and so on.

Qualities of Design

Every design has outer and inner qualities. Outer qualities are attached to our senses: touching, smelling, tasting, seeing, hearing. Inner qualities are about the feelings and understandings we receive from that design.

Think of a car. We see it’s shape. It’s tangible, we can feel it. It has parts like engine, doors, windows etc. We can hear when the engine starts. This is the very basic understanding of the design idea.

We will then start learning about it’s inner attributes. What are these? It helps us to move from a location to another, gives comfort in bad weather conditions… These qualities will increase our attachment with that design.

Difference between Design & Engineering

Design concentrates on creativity and artistic whereas engineering puts more time on analysis, math and science. Designer’s work is to imagine and put into paper but engineer transforms that idea into a product which can be manufactured.

What makes people like designs?

Many people get attached to a design because it gives them enjoyment, solves their problems, likes the shape or the color of it and so on… There are no specific characteristics of a design that guarantees it will be liked by people.

At the end of the day it depends on the person. People have different backgrounds, ages, educational levels, financial situations… These are factors effecting what they like.

Purpose of a Design

The purpose of design is to benefit people while considering function, economics, sociocultural factors and aesthetics.

People buy cars because they are in need of transportation. So the main purpose of a car must be transportation. Then car designers will attach different inner and outer features to that car to make it selected among other cars.

Design Thinking Process

There are 5 stages of a Design Thinking Process:
1.Empathising: Understanding the human needs involved.
2.Defining: Re-framing and defining the problem in human-centric ways.
3.Ideating: Creating many ideas in ideation sessions.
4.Prototyping: Adopting a hands-on approach in prototyping.
5.Testing: Developing a prototype/solution to the problem.

Design thinking is a process of finding solutions to complex issues which are not well defined. It takes the human need as it’s focus and defines the problem from that point of view. The goal is to find a correct solution by brain storming several ideas and prototyping-testing that solution.

Protection of a Design - Intellectual Property (IP)

If you made a design and would like to protect it against theft you should apply for design registration. 

IP Australia is the governmental body that deals with patents, trade marks, design registrations in Australia. Prior to application for a design right you must do a few things:

1.Decide if you have a design as per standards laid out
2.Understand design registration time and costs involved
3.Don’t publicize your design
4.Search for similar designs in Australian and International databases
5.Make sure your design is not an International Olympic Design
6.Prepare drawings
7.Write a statement of newness and effectiveness

Only if you pass these stages you are allowed to file your application. IP Australia will do a formalities check to make sure you provided enough information. If there is not enough information IP Australia will issue a notice to you requesting additional details. If they approve, the application design will be registered for 5 years. After 5 years you will have to renew your registration.

If a design is approved, only a few small adjustments can be done:
1.Ownership change
2.Address change
3.Providing more information about the issues raised
4.Error in representations
5.Error in wordings

What if somebody else uses your IP without permission? You can take legal action against the infringing party. You might need to engage an IP Professional such as Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys or IP Lawyers to help you protect your IP rights.

Challenges between Designers & Engineers

If you worked in an environment with designers and engineers you should have come across disagreements between them. Sometimes the designed product is very hard and expensive to manufacture so engineers change certain aspects of the design. These alterations in the design are generally is not preferred by designers. There needs to be a process of give and take to keep the product having features of design as well as being buildable. It requires both designers and engineers to work in a team manner to bring out products that everyone likes. Every successful company has established a team work environment among designers & engineers.

Design - Engineering? Is it a combination?

These days if you search jobs you will come across many with the title “Design Engineer”. You may be a mechanical, industrial, chemical engineer. If you plan to apply for these positions you should be training yourself in design area. Universities and colleges have courses. At “Design Institute of Australia” you can become a member and learn design.


In essence, design is the sum of all processes to make a product marketable. Ultimate purpose of a design is that it should benefit humans. Today the process of a design costs so much to people they end up trying to protect it by means of IP rights. We all have ideas but most of them get ignored by us. Some of them are brilliant but needs specialized people to bring into reality. At Invetive we have many services related to design. We do idea generation, market research, concept development, engineering, prototyping and design amendments. We help you to transform your ideas into reality to build your future by bringing design-build-maintain-market processes together. Thus having a benefit and impact on the whole world.

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