If you have finished your Criterion B Analysis and started your Criterion C schedule, it is time to start Criterion D. Criterion D – Design is where you actually start the process of designing and diagramming a product to fit your client’s needs. You need to come up with a series of diagrams that reflect your product’s overall and internal design. At this stage it is critical to remember that you are designing a product to meet your client’s needs: everything you design should be based on their needs and / or good practice in your product area. Do not add features that do not solve the client’s problems: they are unnecessary.
The overall design section of criterion D is an overview of the general components of your product – for example, in a DTP product, roughly what content will go on each page; in a website, which pages will exist and how they will be linked together (a sitemap is good for this); and in a database, a diagram of the tables, fields, and relationships.
The internal design part of criterion D goes into more detail for each of these components, for example, including details such as the typeface, font colour, font size, margin sizes, and so on for items such as DTP pages, web pages, and database forms. You will also want to include items such as validation fields in databases. The key here is to look at the ITGS project’s rubric: for the highest marks, you must “…include sufficient detail for an IT-literate third party to see how the product was created.”
For reasons of neatness and the ability to correct mistakes, I recommend you create your design digitally wherever possible. I know some of the IB criterion D examples and the example projects that scored 7 used paper designs, but overall I feel things look better digitally. That said, you should NOT use your intended production software to create the design (i.e. do not ‘design’ the table layout in Access, or ‘design’ the page layout in Dreamweaver). Also remember to update your criterion C as you generate your criterion D designs.
Once your design is finished, you can move on to Criterion E – Product Development.