Introducing the LogCal: Template-Based Documentation Support for Educational Design Thinking Projects

DS 78: Proceedings of the 16th International conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE14), Design Education and Human Technology Relations, University of Twente, The Netherlands, 04-05.09.2014

Year: 2014
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Arthur Eger, Wouter Eggink, Ahmed Kovacevic, Brian Parkinson, Wessel Wits
Author: Menning, Axel; Beyhl, Thomas; Giese, Holger; Weinberg, Ulrich; Nicolai, Claudia
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1Hasso Plattner Institute for IT Systems Engineering, School of Design Thinking, 2Hasso Plattner Institute for IT Systems Engineering, System Analysis and Modelling
Section: Using Technology in Teaching
Page(s): 068-073
ISBN: 978-1-904670-56-8


Design Thinking (DT) has proven to be a solid approach to engage in complex and ill-defined problem scenarios. Still, Design Documentation (DD) is a complex and yet essential part of the DT process itself. The setting of DT and it’s modes of information treatment strongly affect the documentation behaviour and distinguish it from other domains of documentation. In this paper, we will define DD as a part of design ability and, therefore, as task and driver within the design process. In order to set a frame for analytical and intuitive documentation activities, we propose a model of DD and differentiate three DD purposes: 1) capture and retrieve Design Rationale (DR), 2) support reflection, as well as 3) compile and communicate DR. Based on this definition, we introduce a template-based documentation tool (LogCal), which supports the DD performance. In a controlled experiment we handed out the LogCal as a cultural probe to 16 design teams at the HPI School of Design Thinking. By analyzing the experimental data set and evaluation sheets, we investigate the documentation behaviour of design teams as well as the ability of the LogCal to support design documentation. These results lead to hypotheses concerning the application of template-based DD tools and its structure.

Keywords: Design Thinking, Design Rationale, Design Research, Knowledge Management, Design Documentation


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