Qualitative Methods and Metrics for Assessing Wayfinding and Navigation in Engineering Design

  • Jonathan Antonio Edelman
  • Larry Leifer
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


Designing can be viewed as a body of behaviors. Fundamental to several design behaviors is Path Determination. Path Determination describes the moments when designers choose what they will take up for development as well as how they experience their perceptual horizon.

Our research suggests that there are two primary modes of Path Determination, Wayfinding and Navigation. Each of these has been correlated with different outcomes in redesign scenarios. Wayfinding correlates to making significant changes to an object, while navigation correlates to making incremental changes to an object.

In this chapter, I present a novel methodology for capturing and observing Wayfinding and Navigation behaviors, as well as several metrics for measuring these behaviors.


Material Analyzer Product Concept Incremental Improvement Path Determination Radical Break 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was made possible by a generous and on-going grant from the Hasso Plattner Institute for Design Thinking Research. The author would like to express his gratitude for their help, guidance, and patience without which this work would not have been possible:


Jonathan Antonio Edelman

Stanford University

January 2012


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Design Research (CDR)Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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