Journal of the Association for Information Systems


This paper investigates how information systems design professionals use design principles (extracted from a prior design science research project) in a new design situation. We do this by capturing think-aloud protocols from experienced design professionals who are given access to potentially useful design principles. Our analysis identifies two dimensions of use: design behaviors (what designers do) and application modes (how designers apply the principles). Mapping across the dimensions suggests two use pathways: forward chaining and backward chaining. Our study shows how empirically studying expert designers can shed light on the microprocesses of design principles in use, and how an empirical turn in the investigation can contribute to clarifying the fundamental nature of design principles. We conclude by highlighting the implications of these insights for crafting more useful design principles.





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