Design Thesis Process Diagram – 2nd Edition

UPDATE on the Design Thesis Process Diagram:

I posted this earlier on June 9th 2009. Please note that with regards to the Question in the beginning, it is the same as the Hypothesis. And very closely after that the Objectives. Which people often quote as the Design Problem.

The bottom line is: If you are stuck and cannot actually say what is your Thesis, then you just need to identify the Design Problem / Statement. Its the same as the question/hypothesis/objectives… Don’t get confused.

I write these things in my blog to explore what Design Thesis is. It is meant to be helpful and not to confuse.

So if you are stuck now – State your Design Problem / Statement.

If your Design Problem / Statement lack issues or just one thing only at a superficial level, you are in trouble. You really have got to sit down and really think hard. Go back to all the comments and criticism and really find out what is it that is lacking. There is still time left to create a viable thesis for the 5th year level. If only you just take time to think properly…

I was having a discussion with some of the students yesterday, when I realised the “question” needed to be stressed again and again, as the students were mumbling more about the “what” and the “how to”.

The “what” and the “how to” is more to do with the “hypothesis” and is further down the design thesis road. You need to know where the starting point is if not you go down the “merry path of no where” and that would be wasting your time, so back to the “question” which has to be the right question as you will need to answer it further down the road when you finally summarise all that you had gathered and start with the concept.

If you look at this diagram and the co-relation with semester’s duration of time, this is the optimum or predicted time to be taken along the road.

So there have been cases where the time taken was really long to get to the concept.

We want to avoid that, but if it happens and you are pulling your hair being static and motionless suddenly in the course of the journey, take a look at the diagram and see where you are. Perhaps you may need to retrace your steps even right back to the “question”.

So when we say “process”, we really mean a step-by-step journey rather than a jump or a leap to the unknown. Well, sometimes the process do feel like a leaping off a cliff but its more a feeling of dread doing something you have never done before rather than the process itself.

design process diagram


  1. this is useful! phases are re-visited many times. worried about going back to square one alongside racing with time. but re-visiting square one is important as much as u don’t like it against the clock. *_*

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