Contemporary creative design practice draws from the fields of product design and user-centered design, as boundaries between these two traditions become blurred as design thinking is embraced by industry and academia. By early design we mean design activities taking place with the formulation of an initial design challenge all the way through to the articulation of a design concept and leveling off as designers shift their attention towards more detailed considerations of form, function and interaction, refining the design concept and making the transition to development work. Novel methods applied to the early stages of design help adopt a wider societal and business perspective transcending considerations of products or systems, helping to design for latent needs and emerging user experiences. Intense collaboration with stakeholders from different organizations throughout the design process is often required and design teams tend to be distributed across organizations and geographical locations, which reinforce the need for tools that can support collaboration during the early design process.
Markopoulos, P., Martens, J. B., Malins, J., Coninx, K., & Liapis, A. (2016). Creativity and collaboration in early design. In Collaboration in Creative Design: Methods and Tools (pp. 1–9). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29155-0_1