Describing Information Use In Engineering Design Processes Using a Diagrammatic Model
Methods and tools to support the design process should be based on an understanding of how design work is conducted in practice and how information is used in the design process. Therefore, the development of better tools and methods could be facilitated by a better understanding of the use of design information in practice. In this paper, we explore how information use in the design process could be captured in-situ by its participants through the use of a diagrammatic node-link modelling tool. The paper focuses on defining the "language" of concepts which can be described using the tool and which we propose can be used by designers to describe information usage during their work. We describe the implementation of this meta-model in a software tool for process modelling, which is illustrated by application to describe a partial design process as conducted in a UK manufacturing company. We argue that studying the models designers could create using this tool could provide insights into information use in practice and thereby support the development of better design process support approaches.