Development involves the refinement and improvement of a solution. Some development work might be needed very early in the design process in order to evaluate different potential solutions. For example, it might not be possible to compare the cost of early design concepts without doing some development work to estimate what the cost of an alternative would actually be. Development work continues throughout the design process, often even after a project is realized. The goals of development work are to: make it work, reduce risk and optimize success. Methods of development work include: drawings, modelling, prototyping, storyboards and analysis.


Goals of Development Work


Make It Work!

Of course, the primary goal of development work is to make a workable solution to your problem. This goal is true of all development efforts.

Risk Reduction

In any complicated development effort, for example, designing a building for a competition, you will be uncertain about how well certain elements of your design solution will work. In a situation like this, it is very important to eliminate the uncertainty as soon as possible. This is called risk reduction. The longer you wait to eliminate the risk, the more likely that you will waste time on a solution that will fail. It is much better to find out that a potential solution will not work early in the design process before choosing your final solution for development. Fail fast, fail early!


Almost any design problem has multiple requirements. In many cases, requirements might conflict with each other, at least somewhat. For example, if you try to maximize almost any characteristic of a solution (speed, appearance, etc.), the cost will go up. Optimization is the process of finding the best trade-off between your different requirements, and it is an important part of almost every development effort.