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Constraining designers and their CAD tools
Design Studies 16 (1) (1995) pp. 81-101
Electronics product designs can fail for technological reasons and also for human reasons. Both computer-aided design (CAD) tools and formal methods have attempted to limit the risk of product failure by logical assessment of the design and its technology. However, to improve design effectiveness and efficiency the contribution of people to a design's risk of failure must also be assessed and controlled. A method is presented of controlling and limiting human design through the application of a four-path model of design previously developed by the author. The model categorizes designs as repeat design, variant design, innovative design or strategic design. Each has its own set of pre-existent constraints that limit the capacity for unwanted innovation to the product at the outset of each development programme. This provides a mechanism by which designer creativity may be controlled. The manner in which designers are constrained may also be applied to the control of CAD tools commonly employed in the design process.