Visual Examples of Design Processes

Below are some visual examples of design processes as defined by different disciplines and organizations.

It’s interesting to note how similar these are, even when the language around them varies. Also, you can see how different disciplines—from engineering to user-experience design—follow similar processes.

User-Centered Iterative Design

Diagram of an iterative design process.
This diagram shows the iterative nature of the design process and some of the key terms.20

Rapid Prototyping

Diagram of the rapid prototyping cycle.
Rapid prototyping is considered key to contemporary design practice.21

Engineering Design Process

Diagram of an engineering process.
Even in this diagram of an engineering process, you can see many of the key themes discussed above.22

User-Experience Design

Diagram of the UX design process.
In this user-experience design diagram, process repeats itself as necessary.23

User-Centered Design

Diagram of a user-centered design process.
Here is a user-centered design diagram with a lot more detail.24


Graphic of a playtesting-focused design process.
In this diagram, playtesting is given equal weight to prototyping and iterating.25


Diagram of the general 'build', 'measure', 'learn' design cycle.
Whether design process diagrams have three steps or ten, or use any number of languages, the principles are the same.26

Design Steps

Another five-phase design process graphic.
Here is an example of a five-phase design process different from IDEO’s.27

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