Design Methods FTW!

Wolfram Nagel
5 min readJul 15, 2018

Find the right design methods for your design challenge!

As designers (for UX, UI, Business, Service, whatever) we have to solve a problem. That’s our job. But how do we tackle this challenge? We apply design methods. Throughout the project. Often we always use the same ones that have proven themselves.

But there are a lot more. Similar to the ones we know, maybe even more exciting, purposeful or efficient. Some that provide comparable results but in a different way and with a different process. Finding such methods is often an additional challenge. And then these methods and their descriptions are often difficult to access, very extensive and confusing.

That’s when the Design Methods Finder (DMF) comes into play. The award-winning service is now back online!

Multiscreen-ready! The Design Methods Finder can be used on any device. The screenshot shows a Remote Moderated Usability Test which is a helpful method when you do not have much time and/or when the researcher can’t be on-site with the test person.

Find new and exciting methods!

The UX and PM method data base offers a user-friendly, easy accessible, and efficient collection of design methods. With it you can discover new methods and find interesting new approaches that can be combined with those you already know.

For everyone who is into design methods

It should be interesting for everyone who works in the areas of Customer or User Experience Design, User Research, Product Management, Research and Development, Service Design, Human-centered Design, Design Thinking, Marketing, or Business Design. No matter if you are a newbie or have an experience of 20+ years.

Search and find! Find a method that fits your problem by using the appropriate search terms (screenshot example from desktop).

Design methods help solving problems

You can consult the application at any stage of your project when you have to solve a communication or design problem, want to understand the users, have to develop and discuss concepts with colleagues, look for inspiration or new solutions, or when you are in the ideation phase.

Easy! Ask the DMF and it answers.

You just describe your problem (or question or challenge) with key words (fill the search field with these) and press the search button.

Mobile-ready search! Finding a method is similar on smartphones. The logic behind is the same.

You can use suggested and predefined key words or the full-text search. The tool recommends you appropriate methods based on your search.

Either use the provided main key words (in red, yellow, blue, or green) in the drawer below the search field or use one of the additional roughly 250 predefined general tags.

You can also use the full-text search or just browse the complete list of design methods.

That’s it! Enjoy! :-)

A more detailed explanation can be found on the website.

Note: There is no guarantee that the recommended methods will lead to project success. It is up to you to assess if the method will help you in your project. And it is also your responsibility to be creative and to use the methods in a meaningful way.

Finding design methods

When we started this project in 2010 we initially evaluated over 300 methods and selected a wide range of representative methods for each subject area.

The DMF was originally developed by Valentin Fischer, Wolfram Nagel, Marcel Ottmann and Tino Weiß as part of a study project at the Hochschule für Gestaltung (University of Applied Sciences) in Schwäbisch Gmünd. Since then it has won several prizes (including an ADC Award).

With the relaunch in 2018, the project was completely rebuilt from scratch — revised, translated into English and supplemented with many more methods.

What are design methods?

Design is the term for the process of conscious design. Design does not just mean visual design and the presentation and styling of information but also creativity, innovation, improvement, development, and management.

A method is a more or less structured procedure of achieving a goal. Together, it means: Design methods describe systematic approaches to finding different solutions to problems.

„A design method is any action one may take while designing.“ — John. C. Jones (1980)

Methods, methods, methods… The are loads of design methods. Check out the Design Methods Finder (DMF) to find helpful ones for your project. These are just some examples. (All images are taken from the DMF-website, sources are linked there).

Design methods increase the probability of a successful result, serve to gain insight and minimize risk in the design process, help to discipline the procedure, and act as confidence-building measures towards outsiders. But they are no guarantee for success, are not a substitute for creative work or thinking, they require it and (!) should never be blindfolded!

Known examples are Wireframing, Click Dummy, (Collaborative) Sketching, Usability Testing, Prototyping, Surveys, Interviews, Personas, Observation, or Brainstorming. But there are a lot of other methods that are not so well known.

We also have applied (and even developed) some of these methods during the Redesign of the Blizz Meeting User Interface. :-)

New version available since June 2018

Since June we are back with a completely English translated version (the previous one was only in German), with a lot of new exciting methods and with an improved user interface and search functionality.

Get a full Blizz company license for free for 60 days and a discount of 30% for one year!

The relaunch of the new Design Methods Finder was possible thanks to the support from Blizz, the online meeting and collaboration solution from TeamViewer! To celebrate this Blizz offers you a full company license for free for 60 days and a discount of 30% for a one year license. Just send an e-mail to with the subject BLIZZNEWDMF. → More here

We will add even more content in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!

Just use it and test it! We are always open for feedback and new methods. In this case just send us a message or a suggestion. Or follow us on Twitter and Facebook. You can also try out some blizzable methods (that can be applied in online meetings). Not only for this purpose we recommend to give Blizz a try! :-)

If you liked this article or the Design Methods Finder or both, please ❤️ it and share it so others stumble upon it as well! Thank you! You might also read some of my other articles.



Wolfram Nagel

UX Designer (@TeamViewer), UI Architect, JTBD Practitioner, Author of “Multiscreen UX Design”, Initiator of the “Design Methods Finder”. I love my 👪 and ⚽️🚵📸