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Intro to Engineering Design - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Design Quotes "The two most important tools an architect has are the eraser in the drawing room and the sledge hammer on the construction site." —Frank Lloyd Wright

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Design Quotes

  • "The two most important tools an architect has are the eraser in the drawing room and the sledge hammer on the construction site."

    —Frank Lloyd Wright

  • Hemingway rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms 39 times. When asked about how he achieved his great works, he said, "I write 99 pages of crap for every one page of masterpiece." He has also been quoted as saying "the first draft of anything is shit."

  • "The physicist's greatest tool is his wastebasket."

    —Albert Einstein

  • "Rewrite and revise. Do not be afraid to seize what you have and cut it to ribbons … Good writing means good revising."

    —Strunk and White, Elements of Style

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User Centered Design

September 2, 2008

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  • Good design is good because of its

    • fitness to a particular user

    • fitness to a particular task

  • In general, you are not your user!

  • Our class will stress user centered design.

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  • Why is it important?

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  • Why is it important?

    • Design exists whether you think about it or not.

    • When you don’t think about design, bad design will be the result.

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The Design Process

  • … I arrived at the studio room, and found a man at a drawing table, sketching out different variations of the Walkman® he was designing. I got close enough to see the large sketchpad and saw 30 or 40 different variations that he had considered and put down on paper. I introduced myself, pleaded ignorance about design, and asked him why he needed to make so many sketches. He thought for a second, and then said, "I don't know what a good idea looks like until I've seen the bad ones.“

    By Scott Berkun

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  • To choose the best solution, you must have more than one solution to choose from.

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The Historic Waterfall Model

  • System feasibility

  • Analysis

    • Specifying functionality

  • Design

  • Implementation

    • Coding and unit testing

    • Integration and testing

  • Operation and maintenance

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User Centered Design Cycle

  • Composed of a series of steps like most design methodologies.

  • Developed to

    • give the design team maximum exposure to the users

    • feature specific measurement of usability.

  • Development is essentially iterative and self-correcting, and this model supports those aspects of design.

  • file:///Users/reiser/Documents/classes/179/designVideo.html

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From CNN’sWhen good software goes badBy Jeordan Legon

  • Almost one in five computer users surveyed by Consumer Reports encountered software problems serious enough to contact technical support in the past 12 months. The high number of pleas for help, suggests the magazine, may be caused by frequent and persistent software glitches.

  • Software is riddled with errors because of its growing complexity, experts say, but also because much of the development costs -- as high as 80 percent by some estimates -- are spent on finding and fixing defects in millions of lines of code.

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Design Cycle



User & Task






Set Usability Goals




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Northeastern University ACM

  • Scott Berkun: Why Software Sucks

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Design Cycle



User & Task






Set Usability Goals




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Design Cycle Needs Analysis

  • Thumbnail sketch

    • Why is a new system/product needed?

  • Describe in one sentence or phrase

    • Basic user (audience) description

    • Benefit

    • Basic systems characteristics/capabilities

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Design Cycle User and Task Analysis

  • Identifies

    • Characteristics of the potential user population(s), eg. demographics, domain knowledge.

    • Goals that the user wants to accomplish.

    • Tasks that the users perform.

  • May identify

    • Mental models.

    • Familiar metaphors.

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Design Cycle Functional Analysis

  • Who does what?

  • Which system functions will accommodate which tasks ?

  • What part of the task is the human going to do?

  • What part of the task is the computer/device going to do?

  • Will there be manual tasks? Will there be tasks that can be solved by an off-the-shelf package? [Not everything needs to be automated or developed from scratch.]

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Design Cycle Technical Requirements Analysis

  • Formal technical specs

    • Flowchart

    • Schematic

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Design Cycle Set Usability Goals

  • Metrics

  • Determine the quantifiable measures of how good is "good enough" e.g. task completion time, error rates, user preferences

  • Set these goals up front

  • Keep refining the system until you meet these goals

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Design Cycle Design

  • Where the planning pays off…

  • Appearance

  • Functionality

    • Perceived affordance

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Design Cycle Prototype the Interaction

  • Try it out

  • Build the prototype

  • file:///Users/reiser/Documents/classes/179/designVideo.html

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Design Cycle Evaluate

  • Get feedback on the prototype

  • User-based, testing

  • Expert-based

  • Quantitative and qualitative measures

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In Class Assignment

  • Divide up into two groups of two and one of three.

  • Look at or

  • Come up with your own example of poor design.

  • Prepare to present this to the class. Include:

    • The bad design.

    • If possible a picture or webpage of the bad design, or lacking that, your verbal description of the product.

    • Why do you think this is poorly designed? Can you describe the problem using any of the terms discussed in class (perceived affordance, mental model, metaphor)

    • Can you suggest or improve on the suggested remedy for the poor design?

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Design and Art

  • 2D and 3D design

  • Animation – Making of Finding Nemo

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Engineering Design

  • file:///Users/reiser/Documents/classes/179/designVideo.html

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  • Solidworks assignment: Finish the labs in Chapters 2 and 3 in the lab Manual Parametric Modeling with Solidworks 2008. Email me the part models found at the end of each chapter: Exercises 1-4 on page 2-32&33, and 1-2 on page 3-25.