Design Rationale as Theory

John M. Carroll, Mary Beth Rosson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

38 Scopus citations


Design rationale can contribute to the development of theory in human-computer interaction (HCI) in three ways. First, it provides a foundation for ecological science in HCI by describing the decisions and implicit causal relationships embodied in HCI artifacts. Second, it provides a foundation for action science in HCI by integrating activities directed at description and understanding with those directed at design and development. Finally, it provides a framework for a synthetic science of HCI in which the insights and predictions of diverse technical theories can be integrated. This chapter discusses how reflective HCI design practices involving design-rationale documentation and analysis can be used to closely couple theoretical concepts and methods with the designed artifacts that instantiate them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHCI Models, Theories, and Frameworks
Subtitle of host publicationToward a Multidisciplinary Science
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)9781558608085
StatePublished - Apr 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science


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