Investigating information: A qualitative analysis of expert designers' information representation and structuring behaviors

Nicole B. Damen, Christine Toh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Information organization and utilization are integral to the design and development of creative ideas. However, navigating this often complex information space can be challenging, even for experienced designers. Therefore, a deep analysis of how expert software designers utilize and organize information is needed to provide qualitative insights into their information organization strategies. To address this, four professionals in the software design and development field were recruited for individual 3-hour design sessions. They were asked to generate ideas for a design challenge (reducing distraction-based pedestrian accidents) using information sheets specifically developed to contain different types of information, as identified by prior work. Results reveal individual differences in information approach and categorization, although these were motivated by similar underlying patterns of evaluating the relevance of the information for its ability to inform the project constraints, resources, or (user) requirements. Designer experience and use of design processes and knowledge transfer tools enhanced their ability to turn information into insights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number081403
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Conceptual design
  • Decision theory
  • Design methodology
  • Design process
  • Design representation
  • Design theory
  • Design theory and methodology
  • Design visualization
  • Product design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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