Assessing Design Heuristics for Idea Generation in an Introductory Engineering Course

Shanna R. Daly
College of Engineering
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Email: srdaly@umich.edu

Colleen M. Seifert
Department of Psychology
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Email: seifert@umich.edu

James L. Christian
College of Engineering
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Email: jlchri@umich.edu

Richard Gonzalez
Department of Psychology
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Email: gonzo@umich.edu

Seda Yilmaz
College of Design
Iowa State University Ames, IA 50010
Email: seda@iastate.edu

Abstract
Design Heuristics are prompts that encourage design space exploration during concept generation. Design Heuristics were developed by analyzing trends in innovative products and patterns in ideation by expert engineering and industrial designers. In this study, 48 freshmen students were given a short design task and a set of twelve Design Heuristics cards. The cards described a heuristic, and gave two examples of its application within a product design. Students were asked to create new design concepts using the heuristics. The results showed that the concepts created without Design Heuristics were less developed, and were often replications of known ideas or minor changes to existing products. However, concepts created using Design Heuristics resulted in more complex, creative designs Students often applied the same heuristic in multiple ways, supporting our premise that the heuristics lead to exploring multiple solutions. The results also showed that some students readily applied the heuristics, while others struggled to understand how to apply them.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s