Prof. Dr. Holger Giese

Capturing and Understanding the Interplay of Methods and Techniques


The methodology of Design Thinking (DT) suggests a repertoire of methods and techniques to solve wicked problems in terms of innovative solutions. The application of these methods and techniques leads to a concrete DT methodology at work. Which concrete methods and techniques have been employed is of special interest to stakeholders such as students, teachers, project managers and researchers. However, the DT methodology does not determine much concerning the order of applying methods and techniques. Furthermore, capturing this data is hard as the subjectively perceived and objectively employed methodology at work may differ and the capturing should not be perceived as obstructive.

In this research proposal, we suggest to investigate how to capture and visualize employed DT methodologies at work to understand them in detail. For example, this includes capturing employed methodology phases, methods and techniques, as well as artifacts in which the outcome of certain activities is manifested. Visualizing the captured methodology at work enables us to compare them and investigate suspicious situations. We plan to conduct interviews to evaluate our capturing results and derived observations. We expect that the outcome of our research enables us to compare DT methodologies at work to identify interesting commonalities and differences.

As one result of the research project, we employed recovery rules that successfully reconstructed the employed DT methodology from captured DT project documentation. Our qualitative evaluation shows that the methodology could be reconstructed without human intervention with a confidence of approx. 50% to 80%. However, to draw valid conclusions about employed DT methodologies a higher confidence should be achieved.

In our current follow-up research project, we suggest to extend our recovery approach to a semi-automated recovery approach for three reasons: a) increasing the completeness and accuracy of the reconstructed methodology, b) using insights gained during the semi-automated recovery to enhance the recovery rules to c) proceed from a qualitative to quantitative analysis of employed DT methodologies. We expect that the outcome of our research enables us to compare DT methodologies at work.