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Design Space Analysis: Bridging from Theory to Practice via Design Rationale

Allan MacLean, Young, Victoria Bellotti, Tom Moran
This paper reports work being carried out under the AMODEUS project (BRA3066). The goal of the project is to develop interdisciplinary approaches to studying human-computer interaction and to move towards applying the results to the practicalities of design. This paper describes one of the approaches the project is taking to represent design - Design Space Analysis. One of its goals is to help us bridge from relatively theoretical concerns to the practicalities of design. Design Space Analysis is a central component of a framework for representing the design rationale for designed artifacts. A Design Space Analysis is represented using the 'QOC' notation, which consists of 'Questions' identifying key design issues, 'Options' providing possible answers to the Questions, and 'Criteria' for assessing and comparing the Options. In this paper we give an overview of our approach, some examples of the research issues we are currently tackling, and an illustration of its role in helping to integrate the work of some of our project partners with design considerations.
Proc. ESPRIT '91, 25-29 Nov 1991, Brussels, Belgium, pp 720-730.