Design cards are a low-tech, tangible, and approachable way to introduce information and sources of inspiration as part of the design process. Cards are instantly recognizable to most participants, meaning that they can serve as shared objects between diverse groups of participants. The tangible and manifest nature of design cards furthermore enable them to function as props that encourage and support design moves in a manner visible to all participants, and they are open to ongoing reconfiguration and manipulation in a very straightforward manner.
Design cards can support different phases of a design process, from initial ideation through ongoing concept development towards evaluation of design concepts. Design cards work in collaborative design because they act as tangible idea containers, support combinatorial creativity, and enable collaboration.