Development of concepts

What & why

Development of concepts is the stage where you further explore the possibilities of selected concepts. Now you’re narrowing down key ideas and pushing how they can better respond to the brief.

In development of concepts, you should apply a range of methods, materials, media, design elements, design principles and presentation formats to create 2D & 3D visual communications.

You’ve got a small number of ideas that were stronger than the rest that you explored in the Generation of ideas. Now you’re testing out potentials of each idea, so that you can subsequently make a decision as to which one to proceed with.

You should continue researching as you need, and visualization drawing is still a crucial means of visual communication!

SWOT analysis

SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat.

SWOT analysis is a critical thinking tool that is useful for analyzing the concepts you want to select for the Development of concepts.

POOCH analysis

POOCH is a reflective thinking tool that stands for Problem, Options, Outcomes and CHoice.

When you use POOCH for the beginning of the Development of concepts, it allows you to reflect on what brief is, concepts you selected from Generation of ideas, their pros & cons and how you develop those concepts.

Choosing three key ideas

Based on what you explored in the Generation of ideas, you should select approx. three key ideas to further develop.

You should select:

  • concepts that effectively respond to the brief (so you know any of those concepts would work)
  • concepts that take different approaches
  • concepts that let you explore different 2D and 3D media, materials and techniques
  • concepts that you’d enjoy developing!! 🙂

You will be developing each of those concepts – so make sure to label pages which concept you’re developing.


You should continue using PMI (Plus Minus Interesting) for annotating your developments. Refer Generation of ideas page for further info about PMI!

Experimenting media / materials / techniques

Part of the development of concepts is about demonstrating that you’re considering a variety of media, materials and techniques.

More unique it is, more interesting your design process is going to be. It doesn’t need to be conventional.

Based on your concepts, have a think about what you can play with.

Mock-ups & testing

If you’re working on three-dimensional representation of the visual communication, it is important that you make and evaluate mock-ups / prototypes.

Sourcing & selecting materials for final presentation

Although it can be in Refinement, you might want to start thinking about types of materials you want to use for your final presentation. Simultaneously as you think about which concept to go with, it’s beneficial for you to have a clearer idea of what you want to produce at the end of the folio.

If you aren’t sure, go back to the Brief and read over the intended outcomes you envisaged at the beginning of the folio.

Just like choosing a concept, the selection of materials is a design decision to make. I’d recommend choosing materials with your concepts in mind (material selection may or may not vary depending on concepts, and either is fine).

Choosing a concept after the development

Now it’s the time to decide which concept to go with!

I recommend conducting an audience survey and writing the evaluation report. This is a reflective thinking technique that helps you demonstrate that you’re trying to respond to the brief & target audience as much as possible.

When you ask people which of your concepts appeal them the most, make sure to ask them questions about themselves (e.g. age, interest relevant to the brief, etc.) to make sure that the respondents are generally your target audience.

After the survey, don’t forget to analyze the survey results!

If you have different ways of deciding the concept for the final presentation, that’s totally fine as well, as long as you’re reflecting on the outcome of the selection.

Self evaluation

Self evaluation is a great opportunity for you to think back the design process and have a clear mind for the refinement & producing the final presentations. It is also a reflective thinking method for the reader / assessor to understand what you think of your design process.