Improving design processes through structured reflection : a prototype software tool
- Publisher: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. Stan Ackermans Instituut
A prototype software tool facilitating the use of a design method supporting structured reflection on design processes is presented. The prototype, called Echo, has been developed to explore the benefits of using a software system to facilitate the use of the design method. Both the prototype software tool and the design method are developed as part of the Ph.D. project of Isabelle Reymen. The goal of the design method is supporting designers with reflection on design processes in a systematic way and regularly during the design process. The design method only supports the preparation step of a reflection process, a process that consists of the steps preparation, image forming, and conclusion drawing. The main concepts of the design method are the description and analysis of design situations and design activities and the idea of design sessions. The prototype software tool only supports the description and analysis of design situations. The goal of this report is to offer design researchers insight into the concepts of the developed prototype, to offer designers some help when using the prototype, and to offer programmers information about the current implementation of the prototype for improving and/or extending the prototype. A description of the main concepts of the prototype, user documentation, and implementation documentation can be found in this report. The design method is explained in detail in (Chapter 5 of) the Ph.D. thesis of Isabelle Reymen, which is also published as SAI Report 2001/1.