Readings 1.23

The Development Cycle

Successful products follow four stages of development: requirements, design, development, and testing. Requirements are gathered through research with a target audience to find out what is required of a product for it to be purchased. Design includes brainstorming how to turn the requirements found into a product or service. Development is actually turning this design into the desired product or service. Testing is the last stage where the product is tested to see if the product meets the requirements in step 1, creating a full circle. The developmental cycle can be linear or iterative. In a linear model, each stage is done only once before moving on to the next. In an iterative model stages are done multiple times to ensure success.

The Shape of Design

Ch 1: How and Why

In this chapter, we learn that in design, you cannot blindly imitate rather than singing a song of your own. As well as you cannot put too much emphasis on how you are creating your work, but why you are creating your work. Why questions inspire us, how enables why motivates. Having writer’s “block” is a result of an imbalanced relationship between how and why. Artwork is special, creating something is a dance of switching contexts, moving from the balcony to the dance floor. This relationship can be addressed in many ways:

how & why,

near & far,

making & thinking,

execution & strategy,

craft & analysis.

The creative process is described as a ladder more than once in these readings, where the top step is the final piece of work and the first step is the blank canvas. You must climb the latter to get to the top and the middle steps are just as important.


In this video, we learn the importance of replacing theory and conjecture with real-world testing. This new concept speeds on iteration, in turn speeding up learning. The phrase fail fast, fail often is based on this philosophy. Iteration is repeating the developmental cycle, with each repetition building on the last (and learning something new), until the final, desired result is achieved. This process involves dead ends and failures but you have to have perseverance. An important principle of iteration is Gall’s Law, which states that all complex systems that work evolved from simpler systems that worked. Start simple, then move towards complexity because the long way is the short way to get there.

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