Design thinking is a broad term that covers the design process. The thinking may diverge and converge as it is used in different parts of the design process. But when we examine aspects of design thinking we know there is an intense period of reasoning that the designer and design team goes through to handle large amounts of data, opportunities, and solutions related to the problem. For me, design reasoning is the term that comes to my mind when describing the back and forth accepting or rejecting of ideas, parts of ideas, along with new pieces of information that may influence a decision.
Design reasoning is often completely immersive for the designer and the design team. They may even reach a state of mental ‘flow’ when they are in the ideation stage of the design process. It can be exhilarating, frustrating, or fun or perplexing but it is a state of reasoning in the process that often brings the new ideas.
How designers and design teams reason during the process is often a mystery to clients and consumers. I can be the ‘magic’ part of what designers do during the process because it can be elusive and difficult to retrace thoughts and actions. It is often captured in a condensed form in a presentation or process book in order to explain the overall process, but the act of design reasoning can move very quickly and be hard to explain in its entirety. We will look more closely at design reasoning in the future to help others better understand this unique skill.