I was discussing design philosophy with a coworker today and thought that I would share a bit of the perspectives that surfaced during that conversation.
I think that a firm needs to define their approach to Design before they seek tools for developing and documenting that design.
One tool may not provide all the technology, ease of use, power in presentation or detailed design functions that you need. Each one of these tools may work fantastic in one phase but not as well in another. Often firms loose productivity when they try to process all designs with one tool.
If you are using multiple tools, you may be faced with transitioning data from one tool to another. These transitions cost time and money. They need to be reduced or eliminated. Hence back to my topic – Design Philosophy Drives Technology Selections. The approach you have as to when you make the transitions, which tool to use at what time, and how you get through the entire process is driven by your Design approach. The technology you use should support your design goals. Think through the questions that you are trying to answer related to design during each phase and then think about which tool best answers those questions.
Apply the best tool for each step in your design process, but figure out the design process first.