Solution driven versus problem driven design: strategies and outcomes

Kruger, Corinne and Cross, Nigel (2006). Solution driven versus problem driven design: strategies and outcomes. Design Studies, 27(5) pp. 527–548.



Data from protocol studies of nine experienced industrial designers, performing the same task, were analysed to develop an expertise model of the product design process. The protocol data and the expertise model were used to identify four different cognitive strategies employed by the designers: problem driven, solution driven, information driven, and knowledge driven design strategies. These strategies were then related to task outcomes such as solution quality and creativity, and to process aspects such as iterative activity. The different strategies appear not to be related to overall solution quality in any straightforward manner. Designers using a solution driven strategy tended to have lower overall solution quality scores but higher creativity scores. Designers using a problem driven design strategy tended to produce the best results in terms of the balance of both overall solution quality and creativity.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions