Boost your digital skills

The 4 stages of the Design Process

A rundown of the process we follow for most projects


There are lots of great design processes out there. This is the one we like to use with the charities we work with.

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By following this process and using the tools provided, you can create better digital services for your users, and upskill yourself and your team.

  • Mindset: Get yourself and your team ready for digital ways of working
  • Discover: Understand the problem you want to solve from your users’ perspective
  • Define: Generate ideas to test with your users: does it solve the problem?
  • Develop: Develop a digital solution or prototype. Figure out what your project team needs to look like. Continue testing and improving.


Start thinking about Mindset at the beginning of your project - it will make things much easier down the line.

Getting your team on board with digital before you start a project can help things run more smoothly. In the 'Mindset' section you'll find tools to help you get buy-in, ideas for new ways of working and principles to guide your organisation's use of digital.


This stage is all about getting to understand your problem and your users in more depth.

The Discover stage is crucial for building a strong foundation for your digital project. It’s all about getting a deeper understanding of your users’ needs and behaviours, as well as the challenges they might be facing.


This stage is all about getting creative and starting to think about ideas and solutions.

Once you’ve got a good understanding of your users’ behaviours and the challenges they’re facing, it’s time to move on to Define. You'll be generating and testing new ideas to help solve your users’ problems, gathering inspiration for your solutions and prototyping.


This stage is all about getting to understand your problem and your users in more depth.

By the end of the Develop stage you should have a 'starter solution' or small working digital product. You'll also need to think about a plan for how you will test and pilot it with real users. At this point it’s a good time to start mapping out the capabilities you’ll need to develop and maintain your digital solution, and work out whether you need a digital partner or can develop it in-house.