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research-article

Evaluating The Impact Of Idea Dissemination Methods On Information Loss

[+] Author and Article Information
Zixuan/V Zhao

Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907
zhao831@purdue.edu

Christian Lopez

Mem. ASME, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802
cql5441@psu.edu

Conrad Tucker

Mem. ASME, Engineering Design, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802
ctucker4@psu.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042553 History: Received September 15, 2018; Revised December 18, 2018

Abstract

Information is transferred through a process consisting of an information source, a transmitter, a channel, a receiver, and its destination. Unfortunately, during the engineering design process, there is a risk of a design idea or solution being incorrectly transferred and interpreted due to the nonlinearity of the process, and the many ways to communicate and disseminate ideas or solutions. The objective of this work is to explore the amount of relevant design information transmitted by different idea dissemination methods and how receiver's familiarity with the idea, impacts the effectiveness of the methods. First, this work explores the advantages and disadvantages of different dissemination methods in engineering design. Next, an experiment is conducted with engineering and non-engineering participants in order to quantify the information transmitted by different idea dissemination methods. This work also quantifies the effect that receivers' familiarity with a design artifact has on the amount of information transmitted by the different dissemination methods. Lastly, the results obtained from the experiments are compared with a previous theoretical model for validation. The results indicate that while certain methods are perceived as more informative and are able to convey more information than others (e.g., linguistic textual description vs. virtual 3D models), the effectiveness of the methods depends on a receiver's familiarity with the ideas being transmitted. Knowledge gained from this work can aid designers in selecting a suitable dissemination method needed to effectively communicate ideas and achieve a design solution.

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