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This thesis presents a qualitative inquiry into how the graphic design process is being reconfigured within the new digital media landscape. The literature review looks at the historical relationship between graphic design and technology from the invention of the printing press to the personal computer and reviews how this relationship is again affected by the emergence of the computer as a medium for communication. The products of digital design are no longer static and fixed but are dynamic and progressive. The digital media landscape is transforming not just the nature of design products but also the actual graphic design process. The literature review then outlines two contemporary digital design process models. The complex nature of the digital design process, combined with multidisciplinary nature of digital design teams necessitates a review of the traditional tacit graphic design process. The methodology includes a case study in which a group of graphic design students were observed in the design of a digital space for their school. Data, which was collected during the project, presents three significant aspects of digital design, which are having a profound effect on the graphic design process, technology, the organisation of information (information architecture) and teamwork. This thesis argues that the graphic designer has a significant role to play in interactive design, but must adopt an explicit design process, to meet the requirements of the digital landscape. Users by necessity are playing a greater role in the design process in the form of user research, usability testing and interaction with the end product.
Keating, E.: The Design Process and User Focused Digital Spaces. Masters Thesis. Dublin Institute of Technology, 2004.