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Erik Stolterman, PhD: Designerly Tools


One reason for the limited success of research on improving interaction design practice is that those proposing new interaction design tools (approaches, theories, methods, techniques) do not fully understand what constitutes designerly tools. Designerly tools are tools, approaches, methods, and techniques that support design activity in ways that are appreciated by practicing interaction designers. I will present findings from two empirical studies, where we have studied designers and how they select their tools. I will also discuss some general insights about what characterizes designerly tools and what kind of implications these insights have for the further development of tools aimed at supporting design practice.


Erik Stolterman is Professor of Informatics and Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Program at the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, Bloomington.  Stolterman’s main work is within interaction design, philosophy and theory of design, information technology and society, information systems design, and philosophy of technology. Stolterman has published a large number of articles and five books, including “Thoughtful Interaction Design” (2004, MIT Press) and “The Design Way” (awarded “Outstanding book of the year 2003” by the American Association for Educational Communications and Technology).