The definition of conceptual design varies from person to person. It seems everyone has their own definitions of what conceptual design is and what it is all about. Here is some information that will clear up misconceptions about conceptual design.
To some people, conceptual design is nothing more than making prototypes. These same people may believe that a prototype can either be something that will eventually be a finished product, or something that is simply a futuristic design that is not practical.
Conceptual design is very important. Without it, there would be no way for all users to understand completely or agree upon the respresentation. Conceptual design differs from the engineering of an idea because it lacks the specific details necessary to do so.
Conceptual design is the very first phase of a design where drawings are the primary focus, which are comprised of simple plans and sections. These simple drawings should be able to lend themselves easily to more specific sets of plans.
There are specific phases, or steps, of conceptual design that are needed to transfer ideas into requirements. These steps include a definition or description of the overall concept, definition of the specifications or requirements of the plan, description of what the concept is intended to achieve and a prioritized list of objectives for the concept.
During the process of conceptual design, it is not uncommon to come across those who believe for a design to be truly conceptional, it must not be practical. There are others who believe that a conceptual design should mirror the finished design in whole, not in part. This is frustrating for the designer who not only wants these concepts to come to fruition, but would like to do so without compromising their thoughts, inspiration and intentions.
The bottom line is that good conceptual design will be comprised of the creation of an idea, the exploration of the intentions of an idea and the representation of an idea. Conceptual design can range from the blueprints of a building structure to the diagram of a circuit board. If the concepts are not clearly drawn out, the idea will not be understood completely and the end result will be compromised.
Jenn Greenleaf has been a writer for over a decade in print and on the Internet. Publications include "The Writer Magazine," "Spirit Magazine," "Do! Magazine" and "The Writer's Journal." She has written several books and is working on many more. Greenleaf is currently working toward her degree in legal studies through the University of Maryland University College's distance learning program.