This study works toward addressing a knowledge gap in understanding how heuristics are developed, retrieved, employed, and modified by designers. Having a better awareness of one’s own set of heuristics can be beneficial for relaying to other team members, improving a team’s training processes, and aiding others on their path to design expertise. The ability to understand and justify the use of a heuristic should lead to more effective decision-making in systems design. To do this, the heuristics and their characteristics must be extracted using a repeatable scientific research methodology. This study describes a unique extraction and characterization process compared to prior literature. It includes some of the first work towards documenting heuristics for both designers and operators in a hybrid manufacturing setting. Eight participants performed a series of two design journals, two interviews, and one survey. Heuristics were extracted and refined between each method and then verified by participants in the survey. The surveys produced novel statistically significant findings in regard to heuristic characterizations, impacting how participants view how often a heuristic is used, the reliability of the heuristic, and the evolution of the heuristic. Lastly, an alternate perspective of heuristics as an error management bias is highlighted and discussed.