Managing the design process (stages, communication, time management, budgets)

Managing the design process (stages, communication, time management, budgets)

Managing the Design Process

  • Understand that the design process is an iterative cycle of exploring, creating, reviewing, and refining.
  • Familiarise yourself with various stages of design, such as research, ideation, sketching, prototyping, refining, and implementation.
  • Each stage serves an essential function and contributes valuable insights to create a well-informed design solution.
  • Recognise the need for adaptability and be prepared to revisit stages multiple times as you refine the solution based on feedback or new information.

Effective Communication

  • Clear communication establishes a smooth pathway of exchanging ideas, receiving input, and discussing problems or changes.
  • All main points discussed and important decisions made need to be documented for future reference and to avoid misunderstandings.
  • A follow-up after meetings or discussions confirms mutual understanding and allows for any clarifications or additions.
  • Be aware of your communication tone, avoiding jargon, and ensuring the language used is accessible for the client.

Time Management

  • The design timeline should be realistic taking into account different stages and potential revisions.
  • Setting milestones can help track progress and signal any deviations from the plan, giving an opportunity for time adjustments.
  • Regularly assess how much time is spent on each task to locate any inefficiencies or areas where more time could be beneficial.
  • Be mindful of deadlines, always aim to complete the project in a timely manner but allow for unexpected delays.


  • A clear understanding of costs, overheads, and how time is billed is required to develop an accurate design budget.
  • Be conscious of the client’s financial constraints and aim to propose a solution that fits within their budget while satisfying the brief.
  • Any changes proposed that might impact the budget should be brought up in discussion with the client as soon as possible to manage expectations.
  • Useful to track expenditure during the design process to ensure the project is maintained within budget and to avoid any surprises at the project’s conclusion.