Analysing visual strategies of novice and experienced designers by eye tracking application

DS 76: Proceedings of E&PDE 2013, the 15th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Ireland, 05-06.09.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: John Lawlor, Ger Reilly, Robert Simpson, Michael Ring, Ahmed Kovacevic, Mark McGrath, William Ion, David Tormey, Erik Bohemia, Chris McMahon, Brian Parkinson
Author: Lohmeyer, Quentin; Meboldt, Mirko; Matthiesen, Sven
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany; 2: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Section: Experimental Studies in Design Methods
Page(s): 202-207
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


In engineering design education several studies had been made to understand the differences between how novice and experienced designers approach design tasks. As a central finding it is described that novice designers tend to use a particular pattern of trial and error whereas experienced designers use particular design strategies. One essential part of these design strategies are visual analysing strategies. The identification of such strategies is a challenging research task and conventional research methods like interviews, document analysis and protocol studies are currently reaching their limits regarding the accurateness and validity of measuring data. At this point eye tracking analysis provides the opportunity to decisively improve the research of experts’ strategies and thus allows a more sophisticated support of novice designer in engineering design education. This paper presents first results of eye tracking experiments that are presently conducted with novice and experienced mechanical engineers to gain additional insights in their visual strategies when analysing design representations (e.g. technical drawings). Based on the results it finally is discussed how identified visual strategies can be trained in design education in order to support the students’ understanding of design representations.

Keywords: Eye tracking analysis, visual strategies, design experience, design representations


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