Design isn't just an art - its a creative science that goes to the heart of the user's experience to find a true need that is not being answered - and then learning how to answer it.

It starts with developing a knowledge of the customer, the user, the stakeholders, and the marketplace.  Be a fly-on-the-wall.  Walk a mile in their shoes.  Uncover what's hidden, even to the targeted user.  Immerse yourself in the l****  Where are the pain points that the user isn't even aware of?  What design elements would improve the experience? 

The targeted user must be involved every step of the process.  From surveys and questionnaires, to more in-depth participatory research, to buy-in and feedback on the iterative design, the process cannot exist within the designer's own universe, but must truly be born out of the user experience.

At the same time, a product must be manufacturable and profitable - and a true understanding of the manufacturing process for physical products, or an understanding of the necessary interactions and transactions of service design mean that the concept can move from a nice idea to a true reality.  

Masters of Product Design from Carnegie Mellon University

summary of work