Iterative Design Processes

The focus of Design Iterations is to explore and use iterative approaches to design. This means instead of a traditional approach to design and problem solving – identifying requirements, developing a single solution and implementing it in that order, we take a more cyclic approach, analyzing the solutions designed and how they work in relation to the designer’s end goal, then revising and redesigning to create a new “iteration” of a piece of design. Through this process, designers can learn more about the requirements and what will be needed in their solution through the process of designing itself.

One example of an iterative approach to design and development is the Agile approach. Whereas a traditional “waterfall” approach to a project goes through individual stages of design never to return, taking an iterative approach revisits each stage of development in a cycle as different iterations of the product are realized. Through designing and developing solutions, designers can discover additional problems and solutions that may be more effective than if they kept to a single development cycle.

Agile development cycles through iterations.
Agile development cycles through iterations.

Another illustrated iterative approach is “scrum”, intended as a framework for management of project development (using iterations):

Cyclic development
Cyclic development

This example approach also demonstrates the repetition in iterative design, that the process of redesigning and identifying any new problems should be repeated until the product is of a desirable standard for the designer and client.

These are rather specific methods of iterative design, which will be taken into account in my approach to the upcoming unit. My work will likely go through several versions and redesigns before being finally deployed in the public space where it will be displayed.


Archer, J., Forty, Agile Design: what we’ve learned [online]. Available from:

James, M., Scrum Reference Card [online]. Available from:


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