A Comparison of Diary Method Variations for Enlightening Form Generation in the Design Process

Maral Babapour, Björn Rehammar, Ulrike Rahe
2012, Vol. 17, No. 3,


This paper presents two studies in which an empirical
approach was taken to understand and explain form
generation and decisions taken in the design process. In
particular, the activities addressing aesthetic aspects when
exteriorising form ideas in the design process have been
the focus of the present study. Diary methods were the
starting point of this research for investigating the form
generation process through collecting self-reflective
comments from the participants. The main focus of this
paper is to address potentials and limitations of the three
variants of diary method used for data collection, namely,
unstructured diaries, structured diaries and visual diaries. A
set of method evaluation criteria was developed to
compare the structure of the diary variants. By qualitative
analysis of the results and comparison of the diary
variants, strengths and weaknesses of each variant were
identified. One of the prominent factors in the diary
variants was pegged to be due to the logging delay after
the occurrence of the activities.


design process, form generation process, research methods, diary research, diary formats

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