Towards documentation support for educational design thinking projects

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: Beyhl, Thomas; Berg, Gregor; Giese, Holger
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Hasso-Plattner-Institut für Softwaresystemtechnik GmbH, Germany
Section: Knowledge
Page(s): 408-413
ISBN: 978-1-904670-42-1


The design thinking methodology is an incubator for innovative products and services. Design thinking is based on in-depth interactions with prospective end-users and therefore usually results in products and services desired by end users. At the end of a design thinking project, the final outcome of the project is often presented to the external client, who decides about the realization of the product or service. This presentation includes the final prototype, which fulfils the purpose of illustrating the final idea. Therefore, the final presentation passes on the overall idea, but often neglects design rationales. This problem is especially dire in educational settings, in which students usually perform these tasks for the first time. Consequently, the students only pass on a very limited subset of the knowledge they collected during their design thinking project. Even worse, engineers engaged by the client make their decisions based on incomplete knowledge when realizing the product or service. Thereby, they usually have to make adjustments to the envisioned product or service concerning technical constraints, legal restrictions and economical issues. The engineers may end up creating a less desirable product or service since such changes usually affect its desirability and viability. In this paper we investigate how design thinking projects may be documented to ensure that products and services are realized desirable, viable and feasible. We report on our insights concerning the documentation of design thinking projects in educational settings and outline our envisioned documentation framework for capturing the design rationale.

Keywords: Design thinking, design knowledge capture, knowledge management


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