Investigating the Act of Design in Design Research

The Road Taken

Authored by: Brenda Bannan-Ritland , John Y. Baek

Handbook of Design Research Methods in Education

Print publication date:  June  2008
Online publication date:  July  2014

Print ISBN: 9780805860580
eBook ISBN: 9781315759593
Adobe ISBN: 9781317639640


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This chapter investigates the roads taken and not taken in the LiteracyAccess Online (LAO) design research case (see Bannan-Ritland, 2003). LAO was designed to help adults help children with reading difficulties. This project revealed the complex and practical aspects of design in balancing constraints, trading off one set of requirements with another, and dealing with ambiguity and heuristics where design details often emerge only after narrowing down the design alternatives (Preece et al., 2002; Spillers & Newsome, 1993). The continual redefinition of constraints and the generation of new goals in the design phase highlight how pragmatic, dynamic, and generative processes are integrated in design research.

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