Abstract

Design can be seen as a series of decisions that are informed by information that the designer has gathered from the environment and transformed into actionable knowledge. The sheer volume and variety of available information compels designers to impose structure upon the desired information, which in turn may affect subsequent design activities. To better understand how information may inform design decisions, this study investigates the relationship between designers’ information organization behaviors and their generated ideas by recruiting eight professionals (four from software design and four from graphic design) for individual 3-hour design sessions. They were asked to generate ideas for a design problem (reducing pedestrian accidents in Nebraska) using the provided information. Results reveal that designers structured the information in three different ways (Clusters, Relations, and Nests), and both designer background and organizational strategy display different roles in the features generated in their ideas.

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