Design Reports

Engineers and designers create new products or new configurations of old products. This creative process is usually referred to as the design process. Design reports document the design process and describe the completed design.

These reports are usually formal reports, containing a letter of transmittal, a title page, a table of contents, and an abstract or executive summary. These materials make up the front matter of the report.

In the report proper, a design report follows the overall structure of an empirical research report (at least superficially); that is, it contains

However, despite this superficial likeness to the empirical research report, the design report contains a different kind of content because its purpose and audience are usually different. Whereas empirical research reports tell about a research process and report the findings, a design report tells how the designers created the design and then describe the completed design. Furthermore, design reports often discuss not only the reasons for certain parts of the design, they also often discuss the costs involved in building the product and the time needed to complete it. So a possible guide for the design report is as follows: