After my Thanksgiving thesis paper writing blitz, I realized I needed to once again revise the abstract to more coherently attempt to express the aim of my paper. While I’m still not 100 percent happy with it, the following abstract represents my latest direction for my paper.

It is difficult to talk about the design process without also talking about design thinking, for almost everything of importance in the design process is a result of thinking. Understanding the design process is therefore not just about procedures and models, but also involves understanding the mindset of the designer and the designer’s role within the process. In fact, bringing design to a situation is not simply a matter of following a predefined model or method, because each process is unique. This is a result of the design process itself needing to be designed. Models of the process, therefore, can only act as abstract representational tools that aid the designer in designing the design process. The effectiveness of the design process is thus contingent on the ability of the designer. To be good at design, designers need to understand the nature of design thinking and how it differs from scientific thinking. Designers also need to be reflective of their process, challenging their own thinking and assumptions. This is critical in tackling complex design problems, which inherently have no given solution. Developing ones design ability, or design judgment, requires critical reflection of both the design problem and solutions. For it is through recognition of good design that design judgment skills are cultivated. Highly developed judgment skills are what form the rigor of the design process, and provide the means to make the creative leaps necessary to transcend the limitations of the present and design successful products and services of the future. It therefore may behoove designers to recognize designing oneself as a designer as paramount to achieving good solutions from the process of design. Understanding the design process, design thinking, and the role of the design will also help designers articulate their value and communicate what is it they actually do in a way that demystifies the process and instills a sense of trust in their solutions.

Feedback is welcome.