(System) design includes activities to create concepts and models, and/or to conceive something (a system / a solution that answers an intended purpose) based on or using principles and concepts; the outcome of design activities is a coherent and purposeful set of models or representations using defined constructs and patterns (that implement principles and concepts). (ISO/IEC/IEEC 2009)
ISO/IEC/IEEE. 2009. Systems and Software Engineering - System and Software Engineering Vocabulary. Geneva, Switzerland: International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)/ Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765:2009.
The definition provided above is a synthesis and adapted to systems of several understanding to the term "Design" as found in the sources cited.
In ISO/IEC/IEEE 24765:2010 - Systems and software engineering – Vocabulary, "design" means:
- the process of defining the architecture, components, interfaces, and other characteristics of a system or component;
- the result of the process in (1);
- the process of defining the software architecture, components, modules, interfaces, and data for a software system to satisfy specified requirements;
- the process of conceiving, inventing, or contriving a scheme for turning a computer program specification into an operational program;
- activity that links requirements analysis to coding and debugging; or
- stage of documentation development that is concerned with determining what documentation will be provided in a product and what the nature of the documentation will be (ISO/IEC 26514:2008 Systems and software engineering--requirements for designers and developers of user documentation, 4.13)