HOW WE UNDERSTAND ENGINEERING DRAWINGS: AN EYE TRACKING STUDY INVESTIGATING SKIMMING AND SCRUTINIZING SEQUENCES
Editor: Christian Weber, Stephan Husung, Marco Cantamessa, Gaetano Cascini, Dorian Marjanovic, Srinivasan Venkataraman
Author: Lohmeyer, Quentin; Meboldt, Mirko
Institution: ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Section: Design Theory and Research Methodology, Design Processes
Engineering drawings representing machine systems are usually sectional drawings showing the inner mechanical mechanisms. A precondition for understanding such a drawing is to be familiar with the notation of its basic elements. However, in order to really understand how a represented machine system works, additional cognitive processes have to be initiated. This paper presents an eye tracking study investigating how engineers behave while trying to understand such a sectional engineering drawing. The eye tracking data collected during the experiment was analyzed by an approach that for the first time combines the evaluation methods of skimming and scrutinizing sequencing and transition matrix analysis. Based on this procedure, three behavioral patterns have been identified that, if found in a person s eye tracking data, allow drawing substantial conclusions about the cognitive processes run through.