Research request regarding design knowledge management

My name is Moushumi Sharmin and I am a doctoral student in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois working with Prof. Brian Bailey. My research focuses on designing interactive systems that assist designers in managing and reusing design knowledge.

As the first step in my dissertation project, I want to better understand how designers store, retrieve, reuse, and share design artifacts and related information. I am particularly interested in the domains of graphic, web, product, and interaction design.

As part of my research, I am working on a survey to gain insight about how professional designers manage their design artifacts and related information. This survey is formally approved by the University of Illinois Institutional Review Board.

The survey would not take more than 15~20 minutes and as a token you will receive a $10 coupon. I am confident that your experience as a designer would provide valuable insights for my research project.

The link for the survey is:

Please feel free to contact me if you need any further information.


Moushumi Sharmin
PhD Candidate
Department of Computer Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Hi All,

Thanks a lot for participating in the survey and providing valuable insight about design information management and reuse practice. A paper based on our studies of creative designers have been published in ACM SIGCHI 2009, which is the top Human-Computer Interaction Conference. Here is a link for the paper

Thanks again for all the help!


Thank you for following up!

I agree with your conclusion, this is an un-tapped area of need!
I think this is worth discussion, so I’ll jump in with some of the things we do for knowledge capture and re-use:

A document management system (SAP…ugh!) for design controls. As we say, if it’s not in SAP, it didn’t happen!
MS Outlook. Lots happens by email.
MS Sharepoint as a shared knowledge repository
A Sharepoint-based Wiki as a design-pattern repository
A department wide book library
A department wide materials/sample library
Powerpoint as a tool for knowledge capture & transfer
4x8’ Foamcor panels for stackable & mobile pinup space


Google, because you can always ‘re find’ things
A folder structure on my PC to organize by business and active/archived project
Google Desktop Search for finding files/conversations on my PC
Picassa for images & photos on my PC
Document piles in my office, which I eventually file (and rarely go back to)