Design Charrette

Design Charrette

The Design Charrette is a group process to sketch out design direction and garner input from the project team. It helps everyone (not just the designers) think about the role of design in usability, and allows the team to approach one problem from multiple angles.

This exercise is most helpful when team members have strong ideas about how something should look, but struggle to explain their ideas to each other in words. It is also useful when a design has been implemented but it isn’t being used the way it was intended.

Identifying the ideal design solution with input from the project team


Step 1: Identify a Problem or Opportunity

Begin by asking each team member to spend 2-3 minutes working individually, literally sketching their ideas or solutions to the problem or opportunity.

Step 2: Present Ideas

Ask each team member to present their sketched solution to the group. Be sure to give the team time to offer input on each solution, particularly to highlight ideas they like. 

Step 3: Collate and Collect

As each person presents, record the team’s input (or assign a team member to take notes), either in the form of a list of favorite features or as literal highlights on the individual sketches. Then collect the notes and sketches for the project team member responsible for design to include in a more formal design process.