On this web page, you will find definitions of terms that we use.

Definitions: Design Impulse.

Problem-related definitions


Definition: A behavioural way to tackle a problem from a particular perspective.

For example:


Definition: A set of principles, practices, and procedures that help solve particular problems.

For example:

  • Agile for change-driven develop­ment,
  • V-Model for test-driven develop­ment,
  • Design for X for issue-driven develop­ment.

Wicked problem

Definition: A vague, confusing, and unique problem you only understand after formulating a solution.

A design problem is a wicked problem. In practice, requirements formulated to express the needs and desires of users are often incomplete, inconsistent, imprecise, or ambiguous (see Towards a knowledge level theory of design process).

Creativity-related definitions


Definition: Productivity through imagination.


  • Innovation
  • Adaptation
  • Transformation

Organizational creativity

Definition: Creativity that you cannot attribute to individuals but only to a group of people.

Design (noun)

Definition: A plan, sketch, or drawing showing an object’s appearance, function, and workings before it is built or made.

Design (verb)

Definition: To create new ex­pe­ri­ences through an object that is yet to be built or made.

In other words, a design process attempts to meet and exceed explicit and implicit expectations by specifying a new object. There are many fields of application, such as advertising, industrial, and web design, all with their own definitions of design.

Scientifically speaking, designing creates a theory: an idea, plan, or set of prin­ciples on how to fulfil particular needs and desires through the proper­ties of a non-existing object. Furthermore, designing creates a model of this theory. It specifies an object with properties that correspond to the properties according to the theory. Based on this model, you can build or make the object (see Towards an anticipatory view of design).


Definition: The emotion a person feels when realizing the possibilities of fulfilling a need or desire.

Organization-related definitions

Professional practice

Definition: A group of people that focuses on the long-term sustainable success of a specific profession in an organization.

For design, see A Frame­work for Building a Design Practice.

Team organization

Definition: An assembly of two or more people working together to accomplish a common goal.

A team organization can be described in terms of the following aspects:

  • Strategy
  • Structure
  • System
  • Specialisms
  • Skills
  • Shared values