20. Artifact

An artifact simply means any product of human workmanship or any object modified by man. It is used to denote anything from a hammer to a computer system, but it is often used in the meaning "a tool" in HCI or Interaction Design terminology.

The term is also used to denote activities in a design process. For example, in Unified Process (an object oriented system development methodology) a "design artifact" is sometimes used to denote the outcome of a process acitivity such as use cases (Larman 1998).

The antonym of "artifact" is a "natural object" - an object not made by man (Wordnet, Princeton University).

Please Note: Artifact may be spelled with an 'e' instead of the 'i'; artefact. According to Google.com, artifact with an 'i' is the most common spelling of the word. Searching for 'artifact' returns app. 500.000 search results whereas 'artefact' returns 90.000

Chapter TOC

Topics in This Book Chapter

Open Access - Link to us!

We believe in Open Access and the democratization of knowledge. Unfortunately, world class educational materials such as this page are normally hidden behind paywalls or in expensive textbooks.

If you want this to change, , link to us, or join us to help democratize design knowledge!