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What is Information Behaviour in Design? A Novel Set of Information Dimensions

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This research addresses lack of a holistic and rigorous understanding of designers' information behaviour, through outlining seven dimensions for investigation, analysis, and capture of designers' use and requirements of information within the design process. ‘Practicing designers’ and ‘people information’ are focussed upon. Four initial information dimensions are outlined through literature analysis and synthesis in Information sciences and Design. These are iteratively evaluated, refined, and detailed through four empirical studies i.e. interview and questionnaire administered to design companies (N = 9); observation of a design team in a real-world design project (N = 5); observation of three teams throughout a design competition (N = 22); and a survey of designers and design researchers (N = 89). A novel set of information dimensions is synthesized including ‘Purpose’, ‘Source’, ‘Format’, ‘Content’, ‘Attributes’, ‘Stage’ and ‘Intensity’. Furthermore, practicing designers' people information behaviour is detailed using these seven dimensions. Findings both enhance theoretical understanding of information behaviour in design, and provide new empirical data on designerly information behaviour.
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Keywords: design information; design practice; design research; designerly; information behaviour; information dimension; people information; practicing designer

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Division of Industrial Design, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

Publication date: September 2, 2020

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