Real Time Knowledge Capture and Feedback in Design Workspaces

From The Theme

What if we could capture knowledge and interactions in real time, in order to better understand team interaction and workflow?

Feedback In Workspaces

We set out to develop a knowledge capture and reuse system that enables real-time analysis and feedback for design workspaces. Our aim was to leverage emerging sensor, microphone and video technology to develop a system that documents the entire creative and collaborative design process, enabling designers to review and react to their processes in real-time.

Researchers instrumented and observed project teams in action in ME310, Stanford’s team-based design innovation course and in the Center for Design Research’s (CDR’s) Design Observatory. Based on initial findings, researchers developed and tested prototypes and interface concepts for real time and near-real-time design activity analysis and feedback.

Researchers identified three design process needs, based on accessing past knowledge, enhancing current interactions and clarifying future directions.

To connect teams with the past knowledge, researchers built a searchable database of 12 years of ME310 team documents and assignments.

To improve teams’ knowledge capture and interpersonal dynamics, researchers explored real-time conversation transcription, speaker identification, and sentiment analysis software. Researchers tracked speaker activity and intensity with a heat map of sound energy.

To improve teams’ focus on future actions, researchers used transcripts and Wizard-of-Oz prototyping to identify key concepts and action items.

Generating a list of tasks-to-perform received positive feedback from students. Automating this process also proved to be a challenge, and was instead performed by a human coder reviewing meeting transcripts. Researchers applied conversation analysis such as Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count to identify conversation themes and sentiment. Finally, they also prototyped a critical moments interface, which allows teams to highlight moments that seem in-the-moment to be important, which can be used for other team members to catch up quickly, or to allow teams to tag and later re-find those conversations during overall project design documentation.

Moore, D., Ge, X., Stenholm, D., Sirkin, D. and Ju, W. 2017. ActiveNavigator: Toward real-time knowledge capture and feedback in design workspaces. In Proceedings of the 2017 Clive L. Dym Mudd Design Workshop, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA. pp. 1–12.

Larry LeiferLarry Leifer is Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Founding Director for the Center for Design Research at Stanford University. Dr. Leifer’s engineering design thinking research is focused on instrumenting design teams to understand, support, and improve design practice and theory. Specific issues include: design-team research methodology, global team dynamics, innovation leadership, interaction design, design-for-wellbeing, and adaptive mechatronic systems. Dr. Leifer received his BS in Engineering Science, his MS in Product Design and his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Stanford University.

Wendy JuWendy Ju is an Assistant Professor, Information Science, at Cornell Tech. At the time of this project and during her time at Stanford, she was the Executive Director of Interaction Design Research at the Center for Design Research (CDR). Dr. Ju’s research in the areas of physical interaction design and ubiquitous computing investigates how implicit interactions can enable novel and natural interfaces through the intentional management of attention and initiative.

David SirkinAt the time of the project, David Sirkin was a Research Associate at Stanford University’s Center for Design Research (CDR), where he focused on design methodology, as well as the design of physical interactions between humans and robots, and autonomous vehicles and their interfaces. He was also a Lecturer in Electrical Engineering, where he taught interactive device design. David frequently collaborates with, and consults for, local Silicon Valley and global technology companies including Siemens, SAP and Microsoft Research. As of 2018, Dr. Sirkin is Executive Director of the CDR.

Dylan MooreDylan Moore is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering performing research in the DesignX Lab supervised by David Sirkin and Larry Leifer. His research in engineering design adapts methods from psychology, acoustics, and cognitive science to design interactions between autonomous robots/vehicles, and pedestrians.

Xiao Ge Xiao Ge is PhD student in Center for Design Research at Stanford, supervised by Dr. Larry Leifer. Her research focus is on how designers build up design mentality.