Concept development is carried out early in all system design with the purpose of collecting and prioritizing needs, developing alternative concepts to meet the needs, and selecting a preferred one as the basis for development and implementation.
Here a design concept is an underlying idea important to the end-product, such as creating a neighborhood watch system that relies on the concept of crowd-sourced data. An effective design concept serves as the foundation upon which the product is built. A concept helps the designers stay on track throughout the development process by ensuring a product of value to the target audience. These concepts can be illustrated with sketches, images, or text. Developing a design concept demands a clear understanding of the problem to be solved, the target audience, and the requirements. The number of concepts that should be considered depends largely on how much time is available. However, the development of multiple concepts prior to completing the design is a sign of analytic rigor and helps us avoid the bias of mindsets.
In our Design Proposal, the Concepts Considered section describes the options you explored in search of a solution. The section addresses both existing approaches and any unique concepts that were developed as you worked through the design process. The section summarizes the scope of ideas considered and highlights the most creative and relevant concepts for the solution.
The Concept Selection section describes the selection process and rationale used for selecting the “best” concepts serving for the product and overall goals. The rational may be expressed in tables comparing concepts against design criteria or summary evaluations of specific concepts.
One you have explored the concepts considered and concept selection sections, you can move on to the Lesson 3 Term Project: Concept Selection Assignment.