Multiattribute interaction design: An integrated conceptual design process for modeling interactions and maximizing value

Andrew Baratz Ehrich and John Riker Haymaker


Integrated design synthesizes combinations of options into alternatives that take advantage of interactions to maximize multidisciplinary value. As resources become further constrained, options become more numerous, and goals become increasingly complex, it is more critical and more challenging for design teams to find these integrated solutions. Theory proposes the integration of transformation, flow, and value views as necessary to support such integrated design. This paper develops requirements for these views that encourage flexible yet systematic integrated conceptual design processes. It then illustrates how these requirements are only partially satisfied by current design management systems, provides motivating case studies, and introduces a new framework, multiattribute interaction design (MAID), to fill this void by systematically guiding design teams to explicitly consider the potential interactions of options and the resulting value of design solutions. The paper defines the terms relevant to design space exploration and interactions. It then defines the MAID method and specifies metrics and a process for its validation. Initial laboratory charettes carry out first validations, illustrating evidence for how MAID can help integrate transformation, flow, and value views and lead teams of students to discover and record more interactions in a relatively short amount of time. The paper then lists future work required to further develop and validate MAID.

(Received October 25 2009)
(Accepted December 22 2010)

Correspondence:Reprint requests to: John Haymaker, 477 Vermont Street, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA. E-mail: