Stefaniak, J.E. & Tracey, M.W. (2014, October/September). An examination of the decision-making process used by designers in multiple disciplines. Tech Trends, 58(5), 81-90.
Stefaniak & Tracey (2014) are interested in the relationship between decision-making and the design process. Though they are researchers in the field of instructional design, they sought input from designers across different professions (graphic, interior & architecture) to inform their inquiry into processes, solutions and iterations in making decisions about design. They take an exploratory approach in this research study through interviews and try to narrow their focus by the identification of two types of decision-making processes (discovery v idea imposition) and two types of solutions (ready-made v custom made). They also looked into the “effect of successive iterations through the reflection and acceptance or rejection of solution alternatives” (p. 82). The process for interviewing and coding is rigorous and iterative, allowing researchers and participants to influence the classification of themes and address distortion. Like many exploratory studies, I found the driving questions, context and literature review more compelling than the results or the implications discussed about the results. The default conclusion is that this study “shed