Each semester, I see the same thing happen. I assign a lab problem to the class. Within seconds, there's a clickety-clack of keystrokes as the students start typing in the code to solve the problem at hand. Invariably, however, there's one student who takes out a piece of paper and starts writing "stuff" on the paper. Minutes pass, but eventually the student starts typing program code into the computer. Almost without exception and despite the late start, that student finishes the assignment faster and with a better solution than does the rest of the class. Why?
If you look at the "stuff" the student wrote on the paper, you would find it's a program design for the problem. Some students have fairly elaborate designs filling up several pieces of paper, whereas other designs are fairly terse. The important thing, however, is that these students have a program design.