When a person uses a design outcome, they operate it to achieve a goal. Operating a design outcome involves a series of steps. When someone uses a concert poster, they may go through the following steps to use it:
- See a concert poster from across the train station
- Notice the image, coloring, and headline typography
- Walk up to the poster
- Read the details about the concert
- Grab a phone from the purse, check the calendar for availability, buy tickets
All design outcomes are operated/used. Communication Design outcomes communicate information when used. Services and industrial design outcomes involve physical operation, such as using a hammer or using a cane to walk.
Some design outcomes require instructions in order to know how to use them. Signs posted at Zion National Park direct visitors so they know how to get to a specific trail. In this case, people are operating/using Zion National Park.