Approaches to DR that Go Beyond Argumentation

Problem-Based Evaluation

Lewis et al. [37] present a novel approach for evaluating alternative features of an artifact. They describe their own software design process as using a suite of problems for conceptual evaluation of different proposals for a computational environment they devised. Their experiences may sound familiar to other software designers, and yet no other DR approach has taken such experiences into account. Among other things, their work suggests that argumentation alone may not be the only, or even the best, means of evaluating alternatives, and this, in turn, challenges the sufficiency of existing argumentative approaches to DR. Implications of the Lewis–Riemann–Bell insight for other types of design, including other types of software design, need to be looked into. How their work might augment an argumentative approach to DR also needs to be worked out.

Scenario-Based Evaluation

Carroll and Rosson [6] propose a way of evaluating software features that does not document the reasoning of designers but rather the potential reasoning of users in hypothetical scenarios of human–computer interaction. While this is fundamentally different from standard argumentative approaches, a potential point of connection with argumentative DR is that the four examples of scenarios that Carroll and Rosson provide are all question-answering processes. Another connection is that scenario-based design involves the analysis of claims. Carroll and Rosson emphasize, however, that the claims they study deal only with the psychological consequences of artifact features and are “embodied” in, and thus inferable from, the artifact and its use. They see their work as a more abstract version of the problem-based approach of Lewis, Riemann, and Bell. They also see it as similar to QOC in some ways, but as being at a higher level of analysis and more connected to use situations.