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Revealing Insights From Professional Design Documentation

[+] Author Affiliations
Sophoria N. Westmoreland

United Stated Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

Linda C. Schmidt

University of Maryland – College Park, College Park, MD

Paper No. DETC2014-35644, pp. V003T04A015; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 16th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 11th International Conference on Design Education; 7th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4634-6
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


In this work, the researchers explore how a professional engineering designer documents thoughts during the design process. This research will increase understanding of design thinking, improve the effectiveness of the design profession, and create tools for design education. Analyzing professional design behavior is traditionally done using timed design activities that are audio and video recorded to collect design data. The methodology used here is to analyze a set of handwritten design journals used for one long-term project. A comprehensive cognitive coding scheme is applied that has been verified by applying it to the data set and refined through iteration. The coding scheme has also been validated by producing comparative results to similar design studies found in the literature such as Atman, Suwa, and Jain. The results found that the professional was very detailed, spent a considerable amount of time on project management and that students are recording in the design journal for different reasons and at different times during the design process than the professional.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Design



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