Campus Units

Industrial Design

Document Type


Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Conference Title

International Conference on Engineering and Production Design Education

Conference Date

September 5-6, 2013


Dublin, Ireland


Design Heuristics are an idea generation tool based on empirical evidence from successful designs. The heuristics serve as cognitive “shortcuts” that encourage exploration of novel directions during concept generation. Design Heuristics were identified from an analysis of hundreds of innovative products and from studies of expert engineering and industrial designers. The research reported in this paper examines the utility of Design Heuristics instruction in two different classroom settings with engineering and industrial design students. The aim was to test whether design heuristics can play a useful role in creating new designs and overcoming fixations in the design process. Twenty novice industrial design students and forty-eight novice engineering students were given a short design task along with a set of twelve Design Heuristics. The heuristics were illustrated on cards describing their use and two example images of products using each heuristic. The students participated in a short instructional session on the use of heuristics, and were asked to generate concepts for a given problem. The results showed that the Design Heuristics helped the students to generate more diverse candidate concepts, and that the concepts they produced were creative and complex. Students sometimes applied multiple heuristics within a single design, leading to more complex and well-developed solutions.


This presentation is published as Yilmaz, S., Daly, S.R., Seifert, C.M., Gonzalez, R. (2013, September). Comparison of design approaches between engineers and industrial designers. In Proceedings of International Conference of Engineering and Product Design Education, Dublin, Ireland: EPDE. Posted with permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Copyright Owner




File Format



Article Location