Comparison of Designer’s Design Thinking Modes in Digital and Traditional Sketches

Jun-Chieh Wu, Cheng-Chi Chen, Hsin-Chia Chen
2012, Vol. 17, No. 3,


The internal design thinking behaviour of designers in the
concept development has been an important issue of
cognitive psychology. In this study, the design thinking
process designers have in applying digital media and
traditional paper in the early concept development stage
was explored. Special focus was made on the structure
and procedure of problem solving. With the verbal data
obtained, the protocol analysis was employed to analyse
designer’s thinking behaviours in using different media.
From the study, the author had reached the following
conclusions: (1) The proficiency and related knowledge
designers have for the design project has a big impact on
the construction of the design problem and the efficiency
of problem solving and completeness of detail design. (2)
Compared with the traditional way of idea development,
digital media makes it possible for designers to have an indepth description of the detail design with the help of
related functions in digital media. (3) Designers can have
an effective thinking process regarding the micro and
macro aspects of a design project because of the function
of software, enhancing the completeness of the design
thinking while in traditional pen and paper environment,
designers use the synthetic and contrast way to
manipulate their idea development. The results obtained
in this study will benefit both the design education and
practical design activity where digital media is applied.


design thinking, computer-aided conceptual design, paperpen sketching, Wacom interactive digital pen input system

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