The 5 steps design process

I.D.E.A.S — the five stages design process

Kocha W.
4 min readSep 11, 2022


It’s ok to not know what you are doing.
Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

I believe the best design process is to learn, do and repeat; it’s hard to define the process upfront as the design is a non-linear activity.

However, some basic guidelines will prevent us from inventing the wheel and spending too much time on the wrong things.

Here is the five stages design process that I use for my design approach. Let’s dive into each step:

1. Identification

I begin every project by identifying user needs and business goals.

I work closely with the team and stakeholders during this stage to formulate assumptions and validate them through various research and interview.

As a result, we will form testable and measurable hypotheses to move to the next step.

2. Design

Design is an action-oriented learning process. We will learn by doing here and turn the abstract into a tangible.

The cross-functional team will work closely to shape the ideas. We sketch and wireframe, workshop, feedback & critique, brainstorm, etc., to visualise our hypothesis.

Therefore we turn ideas into various concepts, mock them up, and prepare them for the next step.

3. Experimentation

In this stage, we will connect various concepts to conduct inexpensive experiments with minimal functionality but a realistic user experience.

We involve users and our peers in the design process by using our prototype to validate our hypothesis with them (so-called usability testing.) After all, it’s experimentation that drives innovation.

As a result, we will better understand whether our product can be up and running with the current resources, whether people want it, or whether it will be profitable.

4. Affordability

According to, “affordance is what a user can do with our design based on the user’s capabilities”— Source.

The experimentation stage is the baseline the user tells us what they can do with our design. Affordability is to find out…