Guide

How can I use design in my business?

Design management process

The key to managing the design process is to break it down into manageable chunks. You will also need to co-ordinate those involved - designers, managers and employees - to ensure that your use of design delivers the outcomes you require at the cost you have budgeted.

Key tips for managing the design process

  • Begin by defining the problem. Identify the purpose and goal of the project, such as raising brand awareness or improving a product or service offering.
  • Collect information and carry out research both before and during the project. Keep focused on what your customers want. Use market research and market reports to get to know your customers' needs.
  • Decide who in your business will be responsible for the design process.
  • Set a budget and a timetable with measurable targets.
  • Choose your designer and prepare a design brief outlining the project's aims, budget, timetable and any legal, technical or other constraints on developing the design. Consult as many departments as possible when drawing it up. Brainstorm and analyse different ideas. See how to choose and work with a designer.
  • Make sure that your production, marketing and sales departments are ready for any new product, service or branding that you develop.
  • Monitor the process as it develops. If the project deviates from the brief, investigate and make sure it's for a good reason.
  • Remember that your designs may result in intellectual property that needs protecting. See more on protecting intellectual property.

When you finish the process, make sure that you gather as much feedback as possible from those involved - it will help you run future design projects even more smoothly. Find out how to maximise the success of your design projects.

Finally, it can help to take your solutions back through the design process to refine and clarify them. Find out more about managing your design projects and the basics of project management.

You can also complete our Get design ready tool to improve your understanding of design and its role in developing successful products, services and businesses.