Design phase

Design phase
Design phase

The main goal in the design phase is creating multiple concept designs that represent the body of thought. A concept design is a more detailed reflection of the opportunity defined in the valuefit. It's not about specific solutions in terms of products or services.

The reason to create multiple designs is that concepting in the end is about creating products and services that reflect a certain body of thought. Customers should be able to experience this, in particular when products and services are created in various sectors.   

The amount and variety of concept designs depends on the amount and direction of the conceptstatements made in the previous phase. Because a conceptstatement corresponds with specific choices made in a valuefit, these choices are of influence on the design process. 

The different concept designs created will have to stand up to validation, testing and evaluation. Ultimately the design phase results in the selection of one concept design that will used to launch the defined body of thought expressed in the prior phase. The context of the design phase is on the level of a sector and market area, resulting in a more detailed translation of the opportunities defined earlier.

Creative process

Creative process
The creative process

The creative process is a very fundamental step within Serious Concepting and spreads throughout the design phase.

A creative process in this sense differs from the term creativity, which is an attitude or skill that is used throughout the whole concepting process. Creativity is needed to do innovative research, and will help to find the right path in implementing a concept. 

The creative process is embedded within the design fase, in order to translate a conceptstatement into a conceptdesign. This process consists of a divergence and a convergence phase.

The divergence phase demands a great amount of creativity, to be ensured of a broad spread and amount of ideas. A diversity of brainstorm techniques is used to facilitate this. In order to translate ideas into solutions, a convergence technique is used, which helps select and cluster the ideas into conceptdesigns.



Validation scheme

The multiple concept designs that are created as a result of the convergence of ideas, will have to stand up to validation from a Serious Concepting perspective.

The five principles of Serious Concepting are: Innovation, Trends, Quality of Life, Lifestyle and Cross-sectorality.

For each of the created concept designs a check has to be carried out in order to see if they attribute in the right way to these principles.

This is done by comparing the concept designs in a validation scheme. If a concept at this stage doesn't attribute enough, it has to be replaced or will have a low ranking.

This will help in selecting the right focus for further design. At least two concepts will have to be further designed in order to create the variety of products and services that is needed to publicize the body of thought. 



Valueproposition Canvas
SC Valueproposition

The concept designs that withstood the process of validation need more designing in detail in order to profoundly meet up with the pains and gains of the targetgroup identified in the valuefit. 

A concept design should be further designed by looking more in depth into how it relieves the identified pain and how it creates something to enhance the identified gain. Serious Concepting is about consistency.

In this stage of Serious Concepting it's not about a single product or service.The concept design is broader idea, built up out of all the clustered ideas from the creative process. In order to make deliberatie choices, the resulting concept designs have to be profoundly written down in a canvas. By writing and re-writing sharpness arises. 

The result is a valueproposition that can be prepared for testing amongst the target group.



Serious concepting pretotyping

The next step in getting a concept to the market is preparing it to get tested. Testing a concept is different from testing a product or service. The charateristics of a concept are still more abstract compared to the detailed features of a product or service. 

The consequence is that the test format is different. Serious Concepting embraces the pretotyping method, which was developed by Alberto Savoia (Google). Pretotyping focusses on testing the fundamentals of user experience without investing a lot of money in prototypes.

In order to do this, Serious Concepting distinguishes four pretotyping test formats that have to be created for testing: a storyboard, a conceptueel graph, look & feel and a Business Model Canvas (Strategyzer). Depending on the assignment, these formats have varying levels of detail. Look & feel can be less relevant in this stage when the concept has a service focus.

It is important though to always test the assumed business model, in order to be able to judge a concept on it's ability to create value for the organization and the target group.



Selection scheme

The design fase has to result in the selection of one of the created concept designs that will be most effective in launching the basics of the body of thought expressed in the prior phase. The test results add up to making a decision. 

When all the tested concepts are exposed in a selection scheme, a profound choice can be made. In fact, by adding information on how a concept creates value (business model) and the reaction of the target group, the overall judgement can take place. 

At this stage in the Serious Concepting process, a reflection on all results from the prior phase can be of interest to make the right decision before stepping into the last phase.  


                                                                             PHASE 1: RESEARCH
   The main focus in the research phase is the construction of one or more valuefits. 


                                                                                                 PHASE 2: DESIGN              
The main goal in the design phase is the creation  of multiple conceptdesigns 


The main objective in the realization phase is defining the detailed outlines of a concept