Some Opportunities and Limitations of Cloud Computing Environments in Early Stage of Design Process

By Luz-Maria Jimenez-Narvaez, Arturo Segrera Portilla and Mickael Gardoni.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Using a user experience approach, we identified certain opportunities provided and limitations faced by cloud computing applications in remote meetings of design teams. Fifteen designers participated in six teams of three or four members during a one and a half hour meeting. They worked on a task involving the conceptual design of a Web page or a Corporate identity for a research laboratory. The meeting took place in a distributed manner, using two cloud applications. We identified some factors corresponding to favorable and unfavorable aspects perceived by designers when working in a cloud computing environment. After six interviews, data were open-coded to synthesize emergent themes, and then categorized by frequencies into five fields: opportunities, organization of work, limitations, needs for other materials and design process. The results indicate a positive experience regarding the interaction and the coauthoring production, which constitute an opportunity presented by cloud computing technologies. Web task designers prefer working under non-noise disturbance conditions and using a clear whiteboard, while with graphic tasks, designers generally prefer more sophisticated drawing tools and easy graphic modifications when creating sketching concepts.
The participants in this study were globally satisfied with the social exchange climate, i.e., the graphical remote sharing that allows an effective exchange of draft details among multiple users on-line. The cloud environment already presents technical problems, such as lags or leaps during information exchange; limitations which have been seen to disrupt communication flow in the early conceptualization stage.

Keywords: Cloud Computing Technology, Remote Design Meetings, User Experience Approach, Remote Idea Production, Early Stage of Design Process, Interactive Design Process

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.1-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.606MB).

Luz-Maria Jimenez-Narvaez

Ph.D. Researcher, Department of Automated Production, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Luz-Maria Jiménez-Narvaez, is an Industrial Designer from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNC), she received her Master’s degree in Industrial Design at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and her Master’s in Cognitive Ergonomics of Master in Industrial Engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal (POLY). Luz-Maria is a lecturer and consultant in Creativity Management and in Ergonomics within the workplace, in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, research member of the Maison de technologies de information of Montréal (MATI-Montreal) and a PhD researcher at the École de Technologie Supérieure ÉTS-Montréal at Quebec University. She held a grant from the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies FQRNT 2007—2010 for the project “Espaces virtuels d’innovation” (Virtual Spaces of Innovation). She is currently completing a PhD in Engineering in the Department of Automated Production in the field of Creative Innovation Management. Her thesis is entitled: “Creative Collaboration platform for innovative enterprises”.

Arturo Segrera Portilla

Lecturer and Doctoral Student, Industrial Design School, Formlab’s Research Group, Montreal’s University, Canada

Arturo Segrera is a doctoral student at the Faculty of Environmental Design of Montreal’s University. He holds a diploma in Industrial Design (National University of Colombia) and a Master degree in Industrial Design (National Autonomous University of Mexico). He was graduated with honours (Master Degree). Over fifteen years of professional, he has done research and teaching experiences on industrial design field. He was associate professor at Autonomous University of Manizales, Colombia. He has been a consultant of curriculum and accreditation of undergraduate programs of industrial design at Ministry of National Education of Colombia. He belongs to the Formlab’s research group (Industrial Design School of Montreal’s University). Currently, he is a lecturer in bionics and teaching assistant in ergonomics and spatial geometry at Industrial Design School at Montreal’s University. He works on the thesis “Integration of Communication Information Technologies (ICT) for developing spatial abilities in design”. His areas of research are conceptual and modeling on computer aided design, theory and practice of design methods, ergonomic design and design education.

Mickael Gardoni

Engineering Professor, Department of Automated Production, École de Technologie Supérieure, Canada and Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Strasbourg, France

Mickael Gardoni is a professor in Automated Production Department at École de Technologie Supérieure, a leading Engineering School for Industry in Montreal (Quebec–Canada), and works in Industrial Engineering at the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Strasbourg (INSA), France. He was also, Co-Director of the “French-Chinese PLM Centre for Innovation” at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China (2005—2006). He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the École Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Metz (ENIM), and during his Ph.D. at the University of Metz (1999), he obtained industrial experience at EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company) near Paris. He is now co-supervisor of ten thesis and performs his research at the Génie de la Conception Laboratory (LGeCo) at INSA in Strasbourg, in partnership with the Products, Processes, and Systems Engineering Laboratory (P2SEL) at ETS. His research interests include CSCW, Information Management, Knowledge Management, Data Exchange, Concurrent Engineering and more recently the Management of Design, Research & Development and Research Activities.