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/IEEC 2009)


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:

  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; or
  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)
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