Inspiration, images and design : an investigation of designers' information gathering strategies
TypeArticles dans des revues avec comité de lecture
Computational tools should efficiently support, and even enhance, designers' creativity. As a ground for such developments, design cognition studies aim at describing designers' mental strategies within the design process. So far, most researches have been focused on the idea generation phases, e.g. sketching activity, which is explicit enough to be observed and described. However, the early stages of design remain incompletely understood, while the informational phase is identified as a crucial step of the design process. In this context, our objective is to identify and evaluate inspirational information used by designers before generating ideas, and to describe how inspirational information is used. In this article, we report a two-part study (interviews and experimental protocol) carried out with professional designers. The main outcomes demonstrate that traditional and electronic resources are not used in the same way by designers. We also show that information gathering strategies are strongly influenced by designers' preference.
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