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Information Sources Used in Design

As an engineer, your goal should be to locate and track information to adequately define the problem, generate multiple solutions, check that your idea is novel, and develop the best ethical solution that meets customer needs. For these reasons, information is used throughout the design process. Some information resources may be used during multiple stages. Below are some examples of information sources you might use in each stage of design.

Market Analysis

  • Market/industry reports
  • Consumer data
  • Patents
  • Product literature
  • Trade journal articles


  • Standards
  • Patents
  • Articles

Concept Design

  • Patents
  • Articles
  • Product literature

Detailed Design

  • Property data
  • Component part data
  • Engineering handbooks
  • Standards (drawing & dimensioning)


  • Standards (product certification)
  • Articles
  • Business model frameworks