Sketches are used in design research experiments by various researchers to draw inferences with respect to creativity, representation use, solution quality, and other research goals. Numerous different metrics, such as quantity, sketch quality, and solution quality, are used by the researchers to analyze sketches. This paper presents a survey of the metrics used in the design research community. Characteristics developed by the authors to evaluate these metrics are used to compare the metrics. Further, an initial attempt to identify a relation between type of research approach and characteristics of the metrics is then reported to test the hypothesis that a mature research field would include canonically accepted metrics for experimental studies. The findings indicate that current literature does not provide any formal definition of metrics that are widely accepted in the community. The findings from correlations indicate a general trend of using objective metrics for qualitative research and subjective metrics for mixed method approach. Ultimately, this work lays the foundation for a more systematic approach to evaluating engineering design sketches through critical selection of metrics.

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