BAUSTEIN—A design tool for configuring and representing design research

Mar 7th, 2024 | By | Category: RSS Feed


Today’s Information Systems (IS) design research projects pursue digital innovation to conquer complex societal challenges. Many of these projects reach out beyond disciplinary and organisational boundaries, as evident in interdisciplinary consortia and academia-industry collaboration. The design activities in each project differ based on contextual requirements and the team’s underlying design logic. As diversity increases, shared understanding is essential for project success. Established design research methodologies need complementary tools to support design researchers in configuring their design activities and representing them faithfully, dimensions that contribute to a shared understanding. This article presents Baustein as an instance of such design tools. Baustein is tailorable to the contextual requirements of each design research project, comprising an ensemble of card-deck, ready-made configurations, and a manual. To ensure theoretical and practical relevance, the design of Baustein is based on primary empirical data (workshop and interviews with 16 IS design researchers) and a literature analysis of 99 published IS design research projects. We demonstrate its proof-of-value through three main evaluation episodes, altogether involving over 110 IS design researchers. With Baustein, design research teams can balance the trade-off between creative messiness and standardised configurations of design activities.


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