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Analyzing Requirement Type Influence on Concept Quality and Quantity During Ideation: An Experimental Study

[+] Author Affiliations
Emily Worinkeng, Joshua D. Summers

Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Paper No. DETC2014-35014, pp. V007T07A020; 10 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 2nd Biennial International Conference on Dynamics for Design; 26th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4640-7
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


This paper examines the influence of requirement types on the quantity and quality of generated solutions as studied through a user study experiment. A controlled group of students was given a burrito folder design problem with no requirements and asked to sketch solutions. Four experimental groups given different requirement treatments were also asked to sketch solutions for the same design problem. The experimental conditions were functional requirements, non-functional requirements, mixed prioritized requirements and randomly mixed requirements. Analysis of the experimental results reveals that there is a significant difference in quantity of means between the non-functional requirements and the functional requirements groups, with the non-functional group achieving higher quantity scores. In addition, there is a significant difference in quantity in functional requirements and no requirements with the no requirements group achieving higher quantity scores. In terms of quality, there are significant differences in means between the non-functional requirement and functional requirement groups as well as the non-functional and no requirements group. Therefore having non-functional requirements can positively impact the quantity (p-value = 0.09) and the quality of concepts solutions (p-value = 0.018). These findings lead to new future research questions related to understanding exactly how the functionality, in this case functional requirements, influence an engineer’s thinking.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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