Designerly Tools

Design Tools in Practice: Studying the Designer-Tool Relationship in Interaction Design


This paper presents findings from semi-structured interviews with professional interaction designers. The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between interaction designers and their design tools— specifically the reasons behind their choice of tools. The findings show that the relationship between designers and their tools is more complex than commonly assumed. The paper argues that a deeper understanding of the complexity of the designer-tool relationship can make a difference for both education and practice.


Stolterman, E. & Pierce, J. (2012). “Design tools in practice: Studying the designer-tool relationship in interaction design”.  In DIS 2012, June 11-15, 2012, Newcastle, UK


  • Erik Stolterman, School of Informatics, Indiana University
  • James Pierce, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University