An observational study of how objects support engineering design thinking and communication : implications for the design of tangible media

Brereton, Margot & McGarry, Ben (2000) An observational study of how objects support engineering design thinking and communication : implications for the design of tangible media. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems (CHI 2000), ACM New York, USA, The Hague, pp. 217-224.

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There has been an increasing interest in objects within the HCI field particularly with a view to designing tangible interfaces. However, little is known about how people make sense of objects and how objects support thinking. This paper presents a study of groups of engineers using physical objects to prototype designs, and articulates the roles that physical objects play in supporting their design thinking and communications. The study finds that design thinking is heavily dependent upon physical objects, that designers are active and opportunistic in seeking out physical props and that the interpretation and use of an object depends heavily on the activity. The paper discusses the trade-offs that designers make between speed and accuracy of models, and specificity and generality in choice of representations. Implications for design of tangible interfaces are discussed.

Impact and interest:

55 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 40793
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: tangible media, design thinking, design representation, analysis to synthesis, embodied interaction
DOI: 10.1145/332040.332434
ISBN: 1581132166
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Computer-Human Interaction (080602)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ENGINEERING DESIGN (120400)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2000 ACM
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2011 04:26
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:43

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