Exploring the Role of Artefacts to Coordinate Design Meetings
Marisela Gutierrez Lopez
Kris Luyten
Davy Vanacken
Karin Coninx


design process
design artefacts
multidisciplinary teams
case study


Design artefacts are vital to communicate design outcomes, both in remote and co-located settings. However, it is unclear how artefacts are used to mediate interactions between designers and stakeholders of the design process. The purpose of this paper is exploring how professional design teams use artefacts to guide and capture discussions involving multidisciplinary stakeholders while they work in a co-located setting. An earlier draft of this paper was paper published in the Proceedings of the European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2017). This work adds substantial clarification of the methodology followed, further details and photographs of the case studies, and an extended discussion about our findings and their relevance for designing interactive systems. We report the observations of six design meetings in three different projects, involving professional design teams that follow a user-centered design approach. Meetings with stakeholders are instrumental for design projects. However, design teams face the challenge of synthesizing large amounts of information, often in a limited time, and with minimal common ground between meeting attendees. We found that all the observed design meetings had a similar structure consisting of a series of particular phases, in which design activities were organized around artefacts. These artefacts were used as input to disseminate and gather feedback of previous design outcomes, or as output to collect and process a variety of perspectives. We discuss the challenges faced by design teams during design meetings, and propose three design directions for interactive systems to coordinate design meetings revolving around artefacts.