Tech Report

Design Argumentation as Design Rationale

A design rationale (DR) is a representation of the reasoning behind the design of an artifact. In recent years, the use of semiformal notations for organising arguments about design decisions has attracted much interest within the software engineering and human-computer interaction communities, leading to the development of a number of DR notations and tool environments. This article begins by reviewing the motivation for expressing DR as design argumentation, and then surveys evidence from design studies to show when and how it can be productive to construct explicit design argumentation during design. The article then discusses practical cognitive, organizational and technological factors which could facilitate the uptake of design rationale systems.


A revised version of this is to appear in: The Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Technology, A. Kent and J. G. Williams, (Eds.). New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. (1996)

ID: kmi-95-14

Date: 1995

Author(s): Simon Buckingham Shum


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