Whether you're designing websites, clothing, buildings or really anything - the design process is a similar path across all disciplines. Most think that designers can just whip up wonderfully creative ideas out of thin air but to be honest that's generally not the case. Think of the design process as a general formula or system that if followed, will nearly always give you a surprising result. (Within reason)
The first thing to work out is the big picture, or the BFI (Big Effing Idea), as certain colleagues like to call it - This is usually the Who, What, Where and Why of the design. Once you have a grasp on what it is that you're designing, where it's going, why you're doing it and who it's for - then it's time to start looking at precedents and conducting research!
Design precedents are all about researching what has already been done in a relative context to what you're setting out to do and looking for particular ideas, strategies and concepts that may be applicable to what you're trying to create or resolve. Precedents can be used as inspiration and also a way to communicate potential ideas moving forward, remember that nothing is 100% original, all brilliant ideas are a culmination of other ideas and inspirations.
Once you've worked out your BFI and found some precedents and conducted any other research, it's time to put these together and find the harmony of all these things with your own creative and professional input to come to a concept design. The concept design is where you've used your own findings and design thinking to formulate the best solution to the design brief. The concept design is always subject to change and improve - and that's okay, this is all part of the design process.
Use this process for anything that you're designing or making in life - even if you're just redecorating a room or planning an outfit for an event! Most decisions we make are to a certain degree, a product of design - it's no accident, good design never is.