Considering people: An exploratory investigation of engineering student ideation
Laura R. Murphy, Shanna R. Daly, Colleen M. Seifert, Eytan Adar, Sophia Brueckner
Human-centered design is a prominent approach to engineering design. However, research has documented multiple engineering student challenges in considering the people who will use their designs. To investigate ways to support the consideration of users during early ideation, we conducted an intervention study that specifically asked engineering students to represent people in their concept sketches. This exploratory study asked engineering students to follow a "think aloud" protocol during early idea generation. First, students generated ideas in the form of labelled concept sketches. Then, we intervened by asking students to generate more ideas that include representations of people in their concept sketches. Finally, we interviewed students about each of their concepts to see how they had considered people in their designs. Through a single case analysis, we present the study methodology and intervention, and illustrate potential findings. For this case, the intervention led to a change in the sketches as well as in how the student was talking about people who would use the designs. This case study suggests that a change to instructions during conceptual sketching—requiring representations of people—may foster engineering students' engagement in human-centered design practices.
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Murphy, L. R., & Daly, S. R., & Seifert, C. M., & Adar, E., & Brueckner, S. (2020, June), Considering People: An Exploratory Investigation of Engineering Student Ideation Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34326