Design (glossary)

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"(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 24765:2010 - Systems and software engineering – Vocabulary

English dictionaries


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:

(1) the process of defining the architecture, components, interfaces, and other characteristics of a system or component

(2) the result of the process in (1)

(3) the process of defining the software architecture, components, modules, interfaces, and data for a software system to satisfy specified requirements

(4) the process of conceiving, inventing, or contriving a scheme for turning a computer program specification into an operational program

(5) activity that links requirements analysis to coding and debugging

(6) 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:

1) to work out the structure or form of (something), as by making a sketch, outline, pattern, or plans

2) to plan and make (something) artistically or skillfully

3) to form or conceive in the mind; invent

4) to intend, as for a specific purpose; plan

5) a plan, sketch, or preliminary drawing

6) the arrangement or pattern of elements or features of an artistic or decorative work

7) a finished artistic or decorative creation

8) an end aimed at or planned for; intention; purpose

9) a coherent or purposeful pattern, as opposed to chaos

Origin: latin designare = to mark out, describe (with signs)

In French dictionaries the term has 2 main meanings:

a) an artistic view very similar to nb 2, 6, 7 above

b) the translation of "concevoir" = nb 1, 3, 4, 9 above