Uncertainty Driven Action (UDA) model: A foundation for unifying perspectives on design activity

Philip Cash*, Melanie Kreye

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


This paper proposes the Uncertainty Driven Action (UDA) model, which unifies the fragmented literature on design activity. The UDA model conceptualises design activity as a process consisting of three core actions: information action, knowledge-sharing action, and representation action, which are linked via uncertainty perception. The foundations of the UDA model in the design literature are elaborated in terms of the three core actions and their links to designer cognition and behaviour, utilising definitions and concepts from Activity Theory. The practical relevance and theoretical contributions of the UDA model are discussed. This paper contributes to the design literature by offering a comprehensive formalisation of design activity of individual designers, which connects cognition and action, to provide a foundation for understanding previously disparate descriptions of design activity.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere26
Number of pages41
JournalDesign Science
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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