Research Papers: Design Theory and Methodology

Experimental Study on the Associations Among Sketches Based on Design Cognition

[+] Author and Article Information
Ping Yuan

School of Manufacturing Science
and Engineering,
Sichuan University,
Sichuan 610065, China
e-mail: evenyuan@126.com

Yan Li

School of Manufacturing Science
and Engineering,
Sichuan University,
No. 24 South Section 1, Yihuan Road,
Chengdu 610065, China
e-mail: liyan@scu.edu.cn

Jian Chen

Department of Engineering,
University of Leicester,
University Road,
Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
e-mail: jc734@leicester.ac.uk

Yan Xiong

School of Manufacturing Science
and Engineering,
Sichuan University,
Sichuan 610065, China
e-mail: xy@scu.edu.cn

Longfan Liu

School of Manufacturing Science
and Engineering,
Sichuan University,
Sichuan 610065, China
e-mail: liulongfan@sina.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Theory and Methodology Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received January 9, 2018; final manuscript received June 15, 2018; published online July 31, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Katja Holtta-Otto.

J. Mech. Des 140(10), 101102 (Jul 31, 2018) (16 pages) Paper No: MD-18-1021; doi: 10.1115/1.4040627 History: Received January 09, 2018; Revised June 15, 2018

This study aimed to investigate the generation mechanism of pairwise associated sketches and different associated types through the experimental analysis of the cognitive processes of the designers in conceptual design process. The verbal protocol analysis (VPA) was carried out on three groups of participants (designers). The first group consisted of eight university students majoring in industrial design, the second consisted of eight university students majoring in mechanical design, and the third consisted of six product designers with degrees in industrial design and over 5 years of work experience. Their cognitive processes revealed by the think-aloud protocol and outcome sketches during a specific design task were recorded. Following a content-oriented encoding scheme, the verbal data were encoded into cognitive actions, and according to the generation sequence of the sketches, the encoding results were postprocessed for the further analysis of associated sketches. First, we identified which cognitive actions played important roles in the generation of associated sketches. Next, based on the encoding results and the analyses of all associated sketches, we found that all associations can be categorized into three types (in order from low to high association levels): shape association, behavior association, and function association. Finally, we found that the differences in major background had no significant effect on the number of associated sketches but did have some influence on the diversity of association types, the differences in experience background mainly influenced the number of associated sketches in each type of association. Meanwhile, by analyzing the key cognitive actions, we also found the advantages and disadvantages of each group in the generation of different types of associations. The findings of this study can help designers with different backgrounds to choose suitable strategies to stimulate the important actions at the right time, conceive appropriate association types, and ultimately generate diverse concept sketches with high quality.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Vertical-shape transformations in a design family [17]

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Fig. 2

Time allocation of the experiment

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

All sketches of E1

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Fig. 4

Per capita occurrences of cognitive actions in each group (black lines at the top are error bars)

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Fig. 5

Generation numbers (per capita) of three association types for three participant groups (black lines at the top are error bars)

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Fig. 6

Occurrence numbers of actions PF, PS, and FP (per capita) for three association types and three groups (black lines at the top are error bars)



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