To a degree, some methods for creating work, such as employing intuition, are shared across the disciplines within the applied arts and fine art. Mark Getlein, writer, suggests the principles of design are almost instinctive, built-in, natural, and part of our sense of rightness. However, the intended application and context of works will vary greatly.

This is not to say that production never involves problem-solving or creativity, nor that design always involves creativity. Designs are rarely perfect and are sometimes repetitive. The imperfection of a design may task a production position (e.g. production artist, construction worker) with utilizing creativity or problem-solving skills to compensate for what was overlooked in the design process. Likewise, a design may be a simple repetition of a known preexisting solution, requiring minimal, if any, creativity or problem-solving skills from the designer.

Process design is to the planning of routine steps of a process aside from the expected result. Processes (in general) are treated as a product of design, not the method of design. The term originated with the industrial designing of chemical processes. With the increasing complexities of the information age, consultants and executives have found.

In the reflection-in-action paradigm, designers alternate between “framing”, “making moves”, and “evaluating moves”. “Framing” refers to conceptualizing the problem, i.e., defining goals and objectives. A “move” is a tentative design decision. The evaluation process may lead to further moves in the design.

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