The Future of Design Cognition Analysis

Call for a Thematic Collection of Articles for the Design Science Journal

Deadline for Submissions: 31st December 2018

Design cognition refers to the complex set of cognitive processes underpinning design. Valid and reliable analysis can be used to map these internal processes, examine their interactions, and understand their relationship with behaviour in design, providing a basis for cognitive models and theories of design activity. Thus, analysis is central to advancing scientific knowledge about designing. Analysis in this context includes e.g. qualitative comparative analysis, thematic comparison across conditions, quantitative evaluation of effects on design outputs, protocol and other analyses of process, and integrative approaches combining qualitative/quantitative analyses, cognitive/neurological measures, etc.

Design research continues to rely heavily upon small scale protocol analyses in the study of cognitive processes and behaviour. Whilst this approach originated in psychology and has not been completely abandoned in this domain, there have been considerable changes and advancements in the way that cognitive scientists analyse the mental processes underpinning human behaviour. In design research, recent years have seen attempts to adapt quantitative measures from psychometric tests of creative thinking, as well as larger scale studies examining statistical correlations between various psychological measures and design outcomes and behaviours. However, there remains a lack of clarity regarding the kinds of analysis approaches that can generate scientifically robust knowledge about the cognitive basis of design. This thematic collection seeks to examine new approaches to design cognition analysis, as well as identify future directions for design research in this area.

The issues to be addressed are both conceptual and methodological:

• What cognitive processes are considered to exist for study in the design domain?

• What kinds of qualitative and quantitative empirical data can provide us with information on these processes?

• What kinds of analysis methodologies could be used to link cognition, behaviour and design activity?

• How do we ensure that these methodologies yield valid and reliable results, which have value and credibility in the broader scientific community?

This Thematic Collection aims to explore the new and state-of-the-art perspectives, approaches, and challenges in research on design cognition analysis, to provide a foundation for significantly advancing the field. Contributions are sought on the topics outlined below and other relevant areas. Research articles presenting novel viewpoints that challenge the status quo are particularly welcome.

Collection Theme Topics

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

• The identification of scientifically robust analysis/measures of design cognition, including the potential for building upon established work in cognitive science and related fields.

• The use of qualitative and quantitative analysis to characterise the internal processes underlying design behaviours and activity.

• Issues affecting the validity and reliability of design cognition analysis, including construct validity, ecological validity, subjectivity, and sample size/selection.

• The appropriate selection and application of statistical approaches to analyse design cognition.

• The interpretation of design cognition analyses in the context of models and theories of design, as well as broader formalisms of human cognition and activity.

This Thematic Collection aims to explore the new and state-of-the-art perspectives, approaches, and challenges in research on design cognition analysis, to provide a foundation for significantly advancing the field. Contributions are sought on the topics outlined below and other relevant areas. Research articles presenting novel viewpoints that challenge the status quo are particularly welcome.

Guest Editors:

Laura Hay, University of Strathclyde (laura.hay@strath.ac.uk)

Philip Cash, Technical University of Denmark (pcas@dtu.dk)

Seda McKilligan, Iowa State University (seda@iastate.edu)

For additional topics and other questions regarding this collection please contact any of the Guest Editors.

Committed Contributors:

Carbon, C-C. Psychology of Design: Used, approved and loved.

Jablokow, K. and Leifer, L. Designer characteristics and interaction behaviors in design cognition.

Linsey, J. Impacts of university makerspaces on design cognition.

Neroni, M. A. and Crilly, N. What opportunities do virtual reality games offer for studying design ideation?

Robinson, M., Ahmed-Kristensen, S., Irnazarow, A., McKay, A., and Sammonds, G. Complex decision making in engineering design: A theoretical framework and methodological approaches.

Vasconcelos, L. A. Market prediction to validate concept evaluation methods.