Design methodology refers to the development of a system or method for a unique situation. Today, the term is most often applied to technological fields in reference to web design, software or information systems design. Various degree programs involve design methodology, including those in the graphic and digital arts. Read this article to learn more about what design methodology is.


Components of Design Methodology

The key to design methodology is finding the best solution for each design situation, whether it be in industrial design, architecture or technology. Design methodology stresses the use of brainstorming to encourage innovative ideas and collaborative thinking to work through each proposed idea and arrive at the best solution. Meeting the needs and wants of the end user is the most critical concern. Design methodology also employs basic research methods, such as analysis and testing.

Important Facts About Design Methodology

Degree FieldsDesign Studies, Digital Arts & Design, Digital Graphic Art
Key SkillsArtistic creativity and vision, knowledge of design software, time management
Possible CareersArt director, graphic designer
Work EnvironmentStudio or office setting
Job Outlook (2016-2026)4% growth (for graphic designers)
Median Salary (2018)$50,370 (for graphic designers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Design Methodology in Technology

While design methodology is employed in many industries, it is commonly applied in technology fields, including those using the internet, software and information systems development. Several design methodology approaches have developed in the technology industry. Each was a reaction to a different type of problem. Some common technology design methodologies include:

  • Top Down Design or Stepwise Refinement: This starts from the end solution and works backwards, refining each step along the way.
  • Bottom Up Design: This methodology starts with a foundation and works up towards a solution.
  • Structured Design: This is an industry standard. The technique starts by identifying inputs and desired outputs to create a graphical representation.
  • Structured Analysis and Design Technique: This approach utilizes a diagram to describe the hierarchy of a system’s functions.
  • Data Structured Systems Development: Data structure determines the system structure in this methodology.
  • Object Oriented Design: This methodology is based on a system of interacting objects.

Possible Careers using System Design Methodologies

  • Graphic Designer: Graphic designers create and implement visual concepts through computer software. They generate artistic ideas that captivate and appeal to a target audience – often to sell a product or service.
  • Art Director: Art directors are responsible for the visual layout and style of print publications, products, and media productions. They often come up with the overall design idea, directing others who produce the actual artwork and visual elements.
  • Multimedia Artists and Animators: Multimedia designers and animators create moving images for visual media. These can include video games, film, and television.
  • Web Developers: Web developers create and design websites. They are not only responsible for how it looks – but how it performs, implementing system design methodologies that optimize its speed and traffic capacity.

Common Skills Required for System and Program Design Methodology Fields

To work in the field of design, one not only need artistic abilities (this is crucial for generating creative visual concepts that appeal to a target audience), they must also display excellent communication, analytical, and time management skills. Having good interpersonal skills are beneficial for understanding the client and their needs, along with working and collaborating with other designers. Being analytical with their work can help one cater to the interests of the consumer, and the ability to manage time efficiently can help in juggling multiple projects with varying deadlines. Some careers in this field can also require knowledge of programming methods and languages.


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