Thank you for your message. You describe the situation well. Companies doing
web design use a lot of different processes.
There are two challenges situated across multiple linked logics. One is to
address this in the theory logic frame (which I'm doing elsewhere). The
other is to address it in the legal, contractual and business ethics frames
(the practical issue).
Many in design use the idea of 'process' very loosely and businesses will
often have an officially sanctified 'design process' which is very different
from what goes on in reality. This is an issue commented on by many over the
last 5 decades and at the heart of arguments about design process vs.
In contrast, workflow is what happens in reality: who does what, who passes
what to who, who decides what, and when. These are the core elements of the
legal, contractual and ethical issues and the basis for making legal
agreements and identifying responsibilities (and any subsequent failures of
duty). This is why I focus on design workflow rather than 'design process'.
In addition, it clarifies the hell out of a lot of design theory!
All the best,
Dr. Terence Love FDRS, AMIMechE, PMACM, MISI
Director, Love Services Pty Ltd
PO Box 226, Quinns Rocks
Western Australia 6030
[log in to unmask]
Director, Design-focused Research Group, Design Out Crime Research Centre
Researcher, Digital Ecosystems and Business Intelligence Institute
Research Associate, Planning and Transport Research Centre
School of Design and Art, Curtin University, PO Box U1987, Perth, Western
Mob: 0434 975 848, Fax +61(0)8 9305 7629, [log in to unmask]
Visiting Professor, Member of Scientific Council UNIDCOM/ IADE, Lisbon,
Honorary Fellow, Institute of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development,
Management School, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and related
research in Design [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mattias
Sent: Sunday, 24 January 2010 11:35 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Web Design workflow research
In my experience the processes differ between web design companies. Some of
it have to do with their tradition: if it is in user-centered design,
software engineering, marketing, et.c. Some of it also has to do with the
history of the particular company. That is, what they basically have
experienced as a process that works. Some of it may have to do with their
business model. For example, one company may help their client with
developing a user-tested prototype that will work as specification in
procurement (such a company would have a background in user-centered
design). Another company may have as a business model based on contract
development where the work up to the first prototype is for free and the
client then decides if they want to continue (such a company would have a
background in software engineering). Yet another company may have a
background in creative writing, journalism, or information offices and they
may start with the question of "How do I tell people about X?". I have seen
some of this in my research on interaction design practices where
interaction designers come from different backgrounds and work in different
So so my guess is that you'll find rather different practices when you go
out and talk to companies.
All the best,
MATTIAS ARVOLA, Ph.D.
Sr. lecturer in Interaction Design.
Linköping University and Södertörn University.