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Augmenting the 6-3-5 method with design information

Wodehouse, Andrew and Ion, William (2012) Augmenting the 6-3-5 method with design information. Research in Engineering Design, 23 (1). pp. 5-15. ISSN 0934-9839

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This paper describes a comparative study between the 6-3-5 Method and the ICR Grid. The ICR Grid is an evolved variant of 6-3-5 intended to better integrate information into the concept generation process. Unlike a conventional 6-3-5 process where participants continually sketch concepts, using the ICR Grid (the name derived from its Inform, Create, Reflect activities and structured, grid-like output) participants are additionally required to undertake information search tasks, use specific information items for concept development, and reflect on the merit of concepts as the session progresses. The results indicate that although the quantity of concepts was lower, the use of information had a positive effect in a number of areas, principally the quality and variety of output. Although grounded in the area of product development, this research is applicable to any organisation undertaking idea generation and problem solving. As well as providing insights on the transference of information to concepts, it holds additional interest for studies on the composition and use of digital libraries.