Experimental Studies in Design Science and Engineering Design Science – A Repository for Experiment Setups

DS 85-1: Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 1, Trondheim, Norway, 10th - 12th August 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas
Author: Kriesi, Carlo; Balters, Stephanie; Steinert, Martin
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: NTNU Trondheim, Norway
Section: Human Interaction Prototyping
Page(s): 114-123
ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3


Science depends on robust study designs that quantify selected dependent variables, independent of time, location, or conducting researcher. It has been shown that various research fields, especially psychology, struggle with the repeatability of their experiments. In the field of engineering design research, we are facing the same risk as context and participants introduce many unexpected independent and dependent variables to what otherwise is a robust experimental protocol. Given this challenge, a lack of detail in the description of the experimental setup can lead to contradicting results when conducting confirmatory studies. Grounded in the positive sciences, we want to minimize this hurdle and present a user-friendly online repository for experimental setups in engineering design research. This repository can potentially become mandatory for certain types of journals in the field, so that any published study is properly documented and does not jeopardize the foundations of science. The level of detail required for a successful submission in the repository is very high: From environmental influences, such as noise and temperature, to detailed plans of the rooms, and lists of hardware and software - incl. version number - involved. This paper is about the necessity of confirmatory studies, and presents the first version of this online repository by providing a design observation example from our own studies. A later version might be incorporated into a new CERN IdeaSquare Journal of Experimental Innovation (CIJ).

Keywords: design observation study, interaction design experiments, experiment design, repository, confirmatory study

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