This is the initial step in the Critical Iteration design process. What usually triggers the design process is a need which can come from several sources:

  • Previous designs
  • Personal experience
  • Concerns for health and safety
  • Increases to quality of life

Once a need is established it is important to gather:

  • Background Information
  • Skills
  • Team members
  • User data
  • Competition or market data
  • etc.

It is important at the Gather phase to establish Project Management and Documentation plans. Users are the people who will mainly use whatever artifact will be created. It is important to know as much about them as possible as early as possible.

Getting to Define

Commonly to end the Gather phase a design proposal is created. It is likely that the proposal will shift during the process but it will used to guide the early process through the Define phase. A design proposal should have the following sections:

  • Objective - what will be accomplished?
  • Background - what is known currently?
  • Methodology - how will it happen?
  • Expected Results - what do users get?
  • Requirements - what is needed to make this happen?
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