Papers: Incorporating user needs into engineering design

Connections Between the Design Tool, Design Attributes, and User Preferences in Early Stage Design

[+] Author and Article Information
Anders Häggman

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 3-446,
Cambridge, MA 02139
e-mail: haggman@mit.edu

Geoff Tsai

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 3-446,
Cambridge, MA 02139
e-mail: gtt@mit.edu

Catherine Elsen

University of Liège,
Chemin des Chevreuils 1, bat. B52,
Liège 4000, Belgium
e-mail: catherine.elsen@ulg.ac.be

Tomonori Honda

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 3-446,
Cambridge, MA 02139
e-mail: tomonori@mit.edu

Maria C. Yang

Fellow ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 3-449B,
Cambridge, MA 02139
e-mail: mcyang@mit.edu

1Corresponding author.

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

J. Mech. Des 137(7), 071408 (Jul 01, 2015) (13 pages) Paper No: MD-14-1619; doi: 10.1115/1.4030181 History: Received September 19, 2014; Revised March 22, 2015; Online May 19, 2015

Gathering user feedback on provisional design concepts early in the design process has the potential to reduce time-to-market and create more satisfying products. Among the parameters that shape user response to a product, this paper investigates how design experts use sketches, physical prototypes, and computer-aided design (CAD) to generate and represent ideas, as well as how these tools are linked to design attributes and multiple measures of design quality. Eighteen expert designers individually addressed a 2 hr design task using only sketches, foam prototypes, or CAD. It was found that prototyped designs were generated more quickly than those created using sketches or CAD. Analysis of 406 crowdsourced responses to the resulting designs showed that those created as prototypes were perceived as more novel, more aesthetically pleasing, and more comfortable to use. It was also found that designs perceived as more novel tended to fare poorly on all other measured qualities.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Topics: Design
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Fig. 1

Sketch of the baseline reference remote control

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Fig. 2

An original sketch, foam prototype, and CAD model matched with their respective recreated sketch

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Fig. 3

Average number of concepts per designer, error bars indicate ± 1 standard error

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Fig. 4

Example sketch including multiple views and annotations

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Fig. 5

Average total times spent using each design tool, error bars indicate ± 1 standard error. Making includes time spent actively using specified tool.

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Fig. 10

Example of a design created in CAD that has been resketched

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Fig. 11

Example design with novelty/other form and high creative/novel quality

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Fig. 6

Average time spent per concept using each design tool, error bars indicate ± 1 standard error. Making includes time spent actively using specified tool.

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Fig. 7

The most creative designs, normalized by the number of participants

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Fig. 8

The most comfortable looking designs, normalized by the number of participants

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Fig. 9

The most aesthetically pleasing designs, normalized by the number of participants

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Fig. 15

Example design with a smartphone/tablet form and high aesthetics quality

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Fig. 12

Example design with buttons or touchpad as input and low creative/novel quality

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Fig. 13

Example design with a standard remote form with high useful and comfortable qualities

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Fig. 14

Example design with body and novelty/other interaction and a high clarity quality



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