How Information Retrieval Systems Impact on Designers' Searching Strategies Within the Early Stages of the Design Process

Francis, Caroline M. (2006) How Information Retrieval Systems Impact on Designers' Searching Strategies Within the Early Stages of the Design Process. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The purpose of this research is to investigate the influences that Information Retrieval Systems such as online Search Engines and Databases have on designers' early searching strategies. The study involves the observation of designers transforming early design language into query 'keyword' language for the operation of Information Retrieval Systems and how this transition causes a shift in early design exploration. This transformation is referred to in this research as the CLASS activity; Converting Language from Abstract Searching to Specific.

Findings show a common pattern across the activity of both professional and advanced student designers. Information Retrieval Systems are seen to drive the searching process into specific, explored domains rather than stimulate an 'abstract' broad investigation. The IR systems are built upon categories that are created to manage the information content. It is these categories that require a person to use defined keywords and query sentences to operate the Information Retrieval Systems. The findings suggest that using Information Retrieval Systems prior to defining the scope of a design problem causes designers to prematurely focus on specific searching.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 16280
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Bucolo, Salvatore & Popovic, Vesna
Keywords: design activity, industrial design, searching strategies, searching practices, information retrieval systems, design language, classification, abstract searching, specific searching, online databases, design research
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Design
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Caroline M. Francis
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:00
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2015 04:48

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