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Diagrammatic Visualisation of Early Product Development Information

[+] Author Affiliations
Filippo A. Salustri, Jayesh Parmar

Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Paper No. DETC2004-57013, pp. 1-10; 10 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3a: 16th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, September 28–October 2, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4696-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3742-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


There is little methodological support for the early stages of product design that facilitates designers’ cognitive abilities to think about design problems. Yet decisions made during early design are the most crucial to product success. Diagrams present an excellent way to visualize qualitative information, and can stimulate clear, holistic thinking, but there have been no substantive research efforts to apply diagrammatic representation to early engineering design. We therefore introduce design schematics (DS) as such a tool. We outline the general benefits of diagramming and then consider the advantages and disadvantages of some existing diagramming methods. Our analysis motivates the development of DS. Several examples demonstrate how DS can capture important information during early design stages. We are currently developing a computational tool that implements DS and discuss some of the challenges we face in this regard. While there is not yet any quantitative data by which DS can be evaluated, there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that the tool has the potential to be of benefit to practicing designers.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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