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Improving engineering design- contributions of cognitive ergonomics

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Engineering design is analysed in terms of design problem-solving. Engineering designers of differing productivity hardly differ in mental abilities, especially their tested intelligence. However, they differ in their strategies concerning the analysis of requirements and of the problem, in their search for general principles solving the relevant problem, and in the procedures used for developing specific solutions. Experimental and interview results stress that the interrelationship of thinking and sketching, as well as other kinds of an early low-cost prototyping are of crucial importance for the efficiency of the problem-solving procedure and the result. Possibilities for assisting design problem-solving and to improve the training of designers are discussed.
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Keywords: COGNITIVE ERGONOMICS; DESIGN PROBLEM-SOLVING; ENGINEERING DESIGN

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1997

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