Structural design is a process by which a structure required to perform a given function is proportioned to satisfy certain performance criteria (size, shape, etc.) in a safe and economic way. To a large extent design is a pencil and paper exercise (electronic computation must also be included in the list of design tools), by which a mathematical model of the real structure is tested for adequate performance. This quiz series on Steel Design as per IS 800 will help you understand practical standards in steel design.
It is only for very large or novel structures that testing on physical models or full-size prototypes is carried out. Thus, the designer is very much more circumscribed than for example his counterpart in aeronautical or marine engineering, where prototype testing is commonplace.
There are in practice two aspects of a structure which are not easily quantified: the strength of the materials from which it is constructed and the magnitude of the loads which it must resist. Take Quiz on steel Above.