Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science (2015)

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Tonetto, L. M., & Tamminen, P. (2015). Understanding the role of intuition in decision-making when designing for experiences: contributions from cognitive psychology. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, 16(6), 631-642, DOI:


In the cognitive sciences, intuition is described as a way of processing information based on automatic, affective and personal standards, but it is not the opposite of rationality. Designers generate solutions to daily issues, which forces them to make decisions that cannot be always understood rationally. Designing for experiences is a delicate practice in a rational perspective, since the designer’s interpretation on how to trigger particular experiences can be highly influenced by intuition. Designers have a choice to use intuition in the design process without control, or to understand the process and use it consciously. In this context, self-knowing is a key factor in intentional intuiting. This paper aims at discussing how intuition works when professionals design for experiences and, by providing the basis to understand the process, offers inputs on how to deal with it, avoiding biases in the design practice and helping to develop self-knowledge.

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Strategic Design Integration and Management research group (SDIM) is at the Department of Design, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Finland