It can be difficult for students accustomed to a final assessment project style (as is partially the case in the PYP) to grasp that the manner in which they create products or solutions is more important to the course than the actual products or solutions themselves.
The design cycle is quite involved with a number of sections, each with its own purpose. To support students I made this slideshare to break it down into steps for them.
I also put together this page where I add new insights and direction as inspiration hits.
Every part of the design cycle builds upon the previous so the Latin finis origine pendant, The end hangs upon the beginning, is extremely applicable. I made this poster to illustrate the idea to my class on how the solutions to the problems as identified in their design specifications then can be used to form some of their test questions which become fundamental to their final Evaluate section of the cycle.
The reason for this focus on the design cycle I tell my students is simplicity itself. We use it for every unit for one good reason. Getting in the habit of addressing problems in this way is simply engendering good habits that will stick with you for the rest of your lives. And after all, as Picasso said, you need to: