Evaluation of a graphical design interface for design space visualization

Timothy W. Simpson, Martin Meckesheimer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


There have been remarkable advances in the use of visualization to support engineering design and decision-making; however, few studies have assessed the impact of having a fast graphical design interface for design space visualization. Results from an initial study conducted to evaluate the use of a prototypical graphical design interface (GDI) for design space visualization that has been developed for an aircraft wing design example are presented. The objective in this initial study is to investigate how engineers, statisticians, and optimizers (i.e., mathematicians) interact with the GDI and assess how the capabilities of the GDI impact the user's ability to find the optimal design as a function of response delay and constraint violation display. Twenty-two users participated in the study. Due to the small sample size, few significant results were achieved; however, some interesting findings and trends were observed. Delay did have a significant impact on the number of points plotted, but not on the percent error or completion time, whereas the constraint violation display condition did affect the search strategy employed by the user in the GDI. We found that the fewer constraint violations displayed, the more freedom users felt they had to explore the design space for good designs. Feedback from users was generally positive, and several specific suggestions for improvement were offered.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • General Materials Science
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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