Understanding Idealogging: The Use and Perception of Logbooks within a Capstone Engineering Design Course

DS 58-9: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 9, Human Behavior in Design, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Currano, Rebecca Maria; Leifer, Larry
Section: Human Behavior in Design
Page(s): 323-332

Abstract

This paper documents phase-2 of a broad study of the impact of idealog media on the creative design process. The paper summarizes initial findings on the use and perceived value of paper-based idealogs within an engineering capstone design course. It is common practice for engineers to record their design work in the form of a logbook, design journal, or idealog. As information resources have become increasingly digitized, and drafting has been replaced by CAD software, there is an accompanying trend toward replacing paper logbooks with electronic tools, such as wikis and blogs. This is driven, in part, by the perception of the logbook as a knowledge record or information resource, and with the intent of making it accessible to more people or for future reference. Findings, however, indicate that logbook value is not primarily as an information repository but as a medium for design thinking, particularly to support designers’ visualization and development of ideas. This understanding of the role that paper-based idealogging plays in the development of design ideas is key to informing effective design of future idealog platforms and other tools to support creative design ideation.

Keywords: Idealog, Logbook, Design Journal, Creative Ideation, Documentation

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