Skip to main content


Engineering Design Methods: Strategies for Product Design, 4th Edition

Nigel Cross

ISBN: 978-0-470-51926-4 May 2008 230 Pages


Written in a clear and readable style by an experienced author of teaching texts, Engineering Design Methods is an integrated design textbook that presents specific methods within an overall strategy from concept to detail design. It also outlines the nature of design thinking, and sets it within broader contexts of product development and design process management. The book is much more than a manual of procedures; throughout, there is discussion and explication of the principles and practice of design.

Building on the outstanding success of the previous three editions, this new edition cements the position of Engineering Design Methods at the forefront of engineering and industrial design as an essential text not only for students and lecturers but also for practitioners. The book promotes a flexible approach to the design process, and provides explicit, step-by-step advice on how to implement several separate design methods that have been shown to be of value in both education and practice.

This revised fourth edition -

  • promotes a flexible approach to the design process,
  • provides explicit, step-by-step advice on how to implement several separate design methods that have been shown to be of value in both education and practice,
  • contains new case studies and examples from industry that further broaden the scope of the book from engineering design into product design,
  • includes a significant new chapter presenting user scenarios; a procedure for investigating potential product user wants and needs, that culminates in a design brief identifying an opportunity for developing a new product concept,
  • features a book companion website with powerpoint slides for instructors.

Reviewers’ comments:

“Engineering Design Methods… is a valuable contribution to the engineering design literature. The engineering design methods presented are those that are of practical significance and the book is a must for anyone wishing to raise the standard of their design work. The design methods are described clearly and succinctly, examples are used to illustrate principles and design strategies are presented that show how the methods are best employed”. Professor Graham Thompson, Department of Mechanical Engineering, UMIST, UK

“Professor Nigel Cross’ treatment of Engineering Design is a singularly successful treatment for my courses because it is short and concise enough to be read by virtually all students. Furthermore, his interpretations are open enough to allow the inquiring mind to fill out the picture, incorporating and extending the ideas to fit the reflective designer’s own needs.” Professor Larry Leifer, Stanford Center for Design Reseach, Stanford University, USA

“This book is an excellent book as a textbook for design methodology both for undergraduate and graduate level… Students will gain a firm foundation of design methods from problem definition to design evaluations from this book”. Professor Kun-Pyo Lee, Department of Industrial Design, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Korea  

About the Author.



Part One: Understanding Design.

1. The Nature of Design.

Design Activities.

Design Problems.

Problem Structures.

2. Design Ability.

What Designers Say.

How Designers Think.

Learning to Design.

3. The Design Process.

Descriptive Models.

Prescriptive Models.

An Integrative Model.

Part Two: Doing Design.

4. New Design Procedures.

Systematic Procedures.

Design Methods.

Creative Methods.

Rational Methods.

5. Identifying Opportunities.

The User Scenarios Method.

6. Clarifying Objectives.

The Objectives Tree Method.

7. Establishing Functions.

The Function Analysis Method.

8. Setting Requirements.

The Performance Specification Method.

9. Determining Characteristics.

The Quality Function Deployment Method.

10. Generating Alternatives.

The Morphological Chart Method.

11. Evaluating Alternatives.

The Weighted Objectives Method.

12. Improving Details.

The Value Engineering Method.

Part Three: Managing Design.

13. Design Strategies.

What is a Design Strategy?

Frameworks for Action.

Strategy Control.

Setting Strategies and Choosing Tactics.

14. Product Development.

Product Design.

Product Planning.

Product Innovation.



The Fourth Edition of this important and integral engineering design textbook contains new case studies, examples, and problems as well as a significant new chapter presenting the User Scenarios Method.
Engineering Design Methods Visit this site for more information about the book and supplementary resources.