How the Design Process is Similar to that of a Doctor's

Even the process of the designer can resemble many others, however, we will analyze it with respect to a doctor because they can come to be seen as total opposites.

Initially, a doctor receives the patient in his or her office. Regardless of gender, age or any other socio-demographic characteristic, the process is usually  the same. Afterwards, he asks the patient a series of questions in order to be told the symptoms that afflict him. Before this, the doctor must listen carefully to what they are telling him so that in this way he can make a proper analysis and make a prescription.

Now, let’s look at the process of the designer. He meets with the client, who can also be of various backgrounds: multinational, startup or independent person. In the first approach, it is important to ask the corresponding questions that are directed to understand the objective of the project, what is the target audience, expectations and other aspects that will allow to have an overview of the situation. The client tells the designer all of the information that he considers relevant for the development of the project, and most likely answers their questions so that they are aligned. After that, the designer analyzes all the information, which helps him to establish the steps to follow during the different stages of the process before the objectives are fulfilled satisfactorily.

In spite of this similarity, there is something curious about this metaphor and that can generate some kind of debate, and that is that when a person goes to a doctor, he fully trusts that what the doctor does is right and we don’t usually give opinions about something that we would change. The opposite is true in the design process, which, perhaps because it is often subjective, prompts people to make comments that are often valuable but in other cases call into question the work of the designer. This is something that will hardly change but that is part of our profession and that we must deal with intelligently.

In general, as mentioned before, in a broad view, the process is very similar and this metaphor is useful in order to remember the importance of the previous stage of understanding what we as designers have to address without rushing to offer solutions to problems that we have not yet defined. Want to learn more? Get in touch with BluePixel and collaborate with us to dive deep into your project.