Papers: Incorporating user needs into engineering design

Requirements Development: Approaches and Behaviors of Novice Designers

[+] Author and Article Information
Ibrahim Mohedas

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Michigan,
2350 Hayward Street,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
e-mail: imohedas@umich.edu

Shanna R. Daly

College of Engineering,
University of Michigan,
210 Gorguze Family Laboratory,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
e-mail: srdaly@umich.edu

Kathleen H. Sienko

Departments of Mechanical &
Biomedical Engineering,
University of Michigan,
2350 Hayward Street,
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109
e-mail: sienko@umich.edu

Observations were available 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and stakeholder interviews were available 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.–3:40 p.m.

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Automation Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received September 29, 2014; final manuscript received February 22, 2015; published online May 19, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Carolyn Seepersad.

J. Mech. Des 137(7), 071407 (Jul 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1657; doi: 10.1115/1.4030058 History: Received September 29, 2014; Revised February 22, 2015; Online May 19, 2015

Elicitation and development of product requirements are crucial aspects of front-end design and have significant impacts on future product success. This study sought to better understand how novice designers approach the development of product requirements during a front-end design task. Results showed that the stakeholder validity of participants' requirements and the level of tailoring of the requirements to the design context and stakeholders were highly correlated to the number of distinct information sources used and moderately correlated to participants' dependency on particular information sources. Furthermore, an in-depth exploration of participants' information gathering behavior during the design task elucidated specific strategies and processes that may explain why some participants were more successful than others.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Design
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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Validity of participants' (P = participant) product requirements as evaluated by stakeholders

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Numbers of requirements developed by participants as classified using Garvin's first six dimensions (basic requirements) and those requirements that were context/stakeholder specific (feature/aesthetic requirements)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Participants' use of diverse information sources (P = participant) and their dependence on particular information sources. Citations were normalized in Fig. 3(b) by dividing the total number of requirements (i.e., 1.0 indicates that the information source was cited in all of the participants' requirements).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Correlations between assessment of participants' requirements and the diversity of information sources (a) and (b); and their dependence on particular sources (c) and (d). Numbers in parentheses indicate overlapping data points (Q1 data points to the left of symbols and Q2 data points to the right of data points).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Time spent discussing specific topics by Participants 6 and 7 during interviews with stakeholders

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Timeline showing time use during the interactive design task for Participants 6 and 7

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Summary of Participants' 2 and 5 time use during the course of the interactive design task



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