How engineering designers obtain information: Human behaviour in design

Ken M. Wallace, Saeema Ahmed

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Engineering designers cannot perform their tasks without obtaining supporting information, so how effectively and efficiently they do this is of tremendous importance. Research into how engineering designers interact when obtaining information is described. The argument is based on the results of two observational studies undertaken in the aerospace industry. The first study observed teams of four designers to see how they obtained their information; the second observed experienced and novice designers to identify differences in the way they approached design tasks. A conclusion from the first study was that in the vast majority of cases designers preferred to obtain their information from other individuals rather than from documents; and a conclusion from the second study was that novice designers did not know what strategies to adopt and which questions to ask when seeking information. These conclusions are important when planning future information storage and retrieval systems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Behabviour in design : Individuals, teams, tools
EditorsUdo Lindemann
Place of PublicationMunich, Germany
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Publication date2003
ISBN (Print)-10: 3-540-40632-8
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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