(System) design includes activities to create concepts and models, and/or to conceive something (a system / a solution that answers an intended purpose) based on or using principles and concepts; the outcome of design activities is a coherent and purposeful set of models or representations using defined constructs and patterns (that implement principles and concepts).
ISO/IEC/IEEE. 2009. Systems and Software Engineering - System and Software Engineering Vocabulary. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)/ Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765:2009.
The definition provided above is a synthesis and adapted to systems of several understanding to the term "Design" as found in the sources cited.
In ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765:2010 - Systems and software engineering – Vocabulary, Design means:
- the process of defining the architecture, components, interfaces, and other characteristics of a system or component;
- the result of the process in (1);
- the process of defining the software architecture, components, modules, interfaces, and data for a software system to satisfy specified requirements;
- the process of conceiving, inventing, or contriving a scheme for turning a computer program specification into an operational program;
- activity that links requirements analysis to coding and debugging; or
- stage of documentation development that is concerned with determining what documentation will be provided in a product and what the nature of the documentation will be (ISO/IEC 26514:2008 Systems and software engineering--requirements for designers and developers of user documentation, 4.13)
Design covers several meanings in the English dictionaries:
- to work out the structure or form of (something), as by making a sketch, outline, pattern, or plans;
- to plan and make (something) artistically or skillfully;
- to form or conceive in the mind; invent;
- to intend, as for a specific purpose; plan;
- a plan, sketch, or preliminary drawing;
- the arrangement or pattern of elements or features of an artistic or decorative work;
- a finished artistic or decorative creation;
- an end aimed at or planned for; intention; purpose; or
- a coherent or purposeful pattern, as opposed to chaos.
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