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Recommendations for the use of social network sites and mobile devices in a collaborative engineering design project

Brisco, Ross and Whitfield, Robert and Grierson, Hilary (2016) Recommendations for the use of social network sites and mobile devices in a collaborative engineering design project. In: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education. Institution of Engineering Designers, The Design Society, Wiltshire, pp. 394-399. ISBN 9781904670780

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    This paper investigates how mobile devices and online social networks are used in the context of a collaborative and cross-disciplinary distributed design project. The global design project is undertaken by students from four Universities in the collaboration of an aeroplane seatbelt product. It was observed that students have begun to make a change toward using social network sites and mobile devices for collaborative design and communication needs. This paper documents this change in student behavior and investigates the reasons for this change. Through structured and unstructured interviews, it was found that students have a natural preference towards the software they use for personal communication over prescribed unfamiliar software. Students in global teams are expected to be accessible at all times and mobile technology supports this need. In addition, students did not naturally adopt professional practices which lead to lost information and miscommunication. From these findings, a set of recommendations were created to assist those involved in a global design project.