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Creativity and rationale comprise an essential tension in design. They are two sides of the coin; contrary, complementary, but perhaps also interdependent. Designs always serve purposes. They always have an internal logic. They can be queried, explained, and evaluated. These characteristics are what design rationale is about. But at the same time designs always provoke experiences and insights. They open up possibilities, raise questions, and engage human sense making. Design is always about creativity.

Creativity and Rationale: Enhancing Human Experience by Design comprises 19 complementary chapters by leading experts in the areas of human-computer interaction design, sociotechnical systems design, requirements engineering, information systems, and artificial intelligence. Researchers, research students and practitioners in human-computer interaction and software design will find this state of the art volume invaluable.



Chapter 1. Creativity and Rationale: The Essential Tension

Creativity and rationale comprise an essential tension in design. They are two sides of the coin; contrary, complementary, but perhaps also interdependent. Designs always serve purposes. They always have an internal logic. They can be queried, explained, and evaluated. These characteristics are what design rationale is about. But at the same time designs always provoke experiences and insights. They open up possibilities, raise questions, and engage human sense making. Design is always about creativity. This book presents a set of research papers addressing the topic of creativity and rationale in software design. This introductory chapter presents an account of the workshop and review process through which the papers were developed, and thumbnail summaries of the individual papers.
John M. Carroll

Chapter 2. Critical Conversations: Feedback as a Stimulus to Creativity in Software Design

Three decades of creating software to support design rationale showed the author that rationale processes can promote generation of novel ideas by promoting critical conversations among designers and other project participants. Critical conversations intertwine ideation and evaluation, using feedback about consequences of decisions to challenge designers to devise new ideas. Such conversations take two forms. The first is discussion involving feedback from speculation about consequences of design decisions for implementation and use. The second is discussion involving feedback from actual experiences of implementation and use of the software being designed. The former is purely a process of reflective discourse, the latter a process of situated cognition involving both action and reflective discourse. Thus, the former is pure argumentation, the latter situated argumentation. Exploiting the full potential of critical conversations for creative design requires rethinking rationale methods and integrating them into software supporting implementation and use.
Raymond McCall

Chapter 3. A Micro View of Design Reasoning: Two-Way Shifts Between Embodiment and Rationale

This chapter is based on the assumption that because designing (of tangible artifacts) is aimed at specifying configurations and properties of entities, designers must manipulate forms and shapes and they must resort to visual reasoning to do so. Visual reasoning in designing is seen as the interplay between two modes of reasoning: embodiment and rationale, such that the one supports and continues the other in order to arrive at a result that is novel and valid in terms of all the requirements it is to satisfy. We use protocol analysis to explore the bond between embodiment and rationale reasoning modes at two levels of cognitive operation – that of the design move and that of the argument that is its building block. We conclude that the two modes of reasoning are equi-present in designing; they describe a binary system characterized by high-frequency shifts between embodiment and rationale.
Gabriela Goldschmidt

Chapter 4. Evaluating Creativity

This chapter explores the concept of evaluation and its potential ­contribution to creativity. The particular focus is on evaluation within those areas of creative practice where the interaction between human beings and digital systems is a central goal. A multi-dimensional model of creativity is introduced that provides a holistic framework for evaluating the actors and elements in creativity. The approach is informed by studies arising from practice-based research, a form of research adopted by creative practitioners for whom the artifact, for example an artwork, is a central concern. The domain from which the ideas and examples are derived is the interactive digital arts, a vibrant, emerging field that affords rich opportunities for interaction design to explore criteria for evaluation arising directly from designing interactive systems that engage people in creative ways.
Linda Candy

Chapter 5. Integrating Design Representations for Creativity

This chapter argues that the influence of design rationale on creativity is best achieved by concurrent use of scenarios, prototypes and models. A framework of cognitive affordances is introduced to discuss the merits and limitations of each representation. The chapter concludes by discussing how different representations might complement each other in creative scenario-based design.
Alistair Sutcliffe

Chapter 6. Achieving Both Creativity and Rationale: Reuse in Design with Images and Claims

Although designers seek to create designs that are novel, most are based in some part on previous work. However, formal methods for design rationale reuse are dismissed as too inhibiting to the creative process. In this chapter we argue for the reuse of rationale as a central activity in design, and explore how this can be used as part of the creative process. Specifically, we examine how claims, paired with representative images, can stimulate the creative process while providing a bridge to rationale reuse. We present a design approach in which images and claims are presented together, supporting reuse in design activities like storyboarding. An evaluation revealed the careful interplay between creativity and rationale reuse, illustrating how they can complement each other during the design process. Our work serves to demonstrate that an appropriate design activity can be used to leverage creativity with the use of rationale.
D. Scott McCrickard, Shahtab Wahid, Stacy M. Branham, Steve Harrison

Chapter 7. Predecessor Artifacts: Evolutionary Perspectives on a Reflective Conversation with Design Materials

Donald Schön described designing as a reflective conversation with the materials of a situation, and proposed a phenomenological account of designing. Ray McCall proposed an extension and generalization of Schön’s model that more easily allows for computer support. Building on the work of Schön and McCall, this chapter adopts an evolutionary perspective on the design process and proposes “predecessor artifacts” as a new concept for understanding the reflective conversation with design materials. Predecessor artifacts emerge in creative activities and they encapsulate design history. The concept is applied to software design. Based on a literature survey, experimental prototyping, and empirical analyses in two user organizations, three types of predecessor artifacts are explored: (1) reusable design material, (2) alternative functionality, and (3) reusable design concepts. A goal with PAs is to understand design reuse in software applications from a phenomenological viewpoint.
Anders I. Mørch

Chapter 8. The PRInCiPleS Design Framework

Some disciplines focus on analytic research and some disciplines focus on synthesis. Design disciplines are interesting because designers need to do both analysis and synthesis tasks. The HCI and design program I presently direct is organized around a framework I have named with the acronym PRInCiPleS, both at the curricular scale and as an organizing device for individual design projects within classes that serves as a kind of design rationale framework. The PRInCiPleS framework is not a scientific framework, but it does have an analogy to an idealized notion of a scientific framework. One of the biggest issues in design pedagogy and practice is how to get students and practicing designers to ensure that analysis leads to synthesis in a sound way and that synthesis follows from analysis in a sound way-that is, the issue of how to bridge the creative, semantic gap between design research and insights and concepts. In much of the curriculum, design research projects are paired with design concept projects in a way that is targeted at addressing this issue by means of iterative practice. Taking a curatorial attitude towards designs constructed according to the PRInCiPleS or indeed other frameworks is an appropriate way to connect notions of creativity to notions of design rationale.
Eli Blevis

Chapter 9. Using Rationale to Assist Student Cognitive and Intellectual Development

One of the questions posed at the National Science Foundation ­(NSF)-sponsored workshop on Creativity and Rationale in Software Design was on the role of rationale in supporting idea generation in the classroom. College students often struggle with problems where more than one possible solution exists. Part of the difficulty lies in the need for students to progress through different levels of development cognitively and intellectually before they can tackle creative problem solving. Argumentation-based rationale provides a natural mechanism for representing problems, candidate solutions, criteria, and arguments relating those criteria to the candidate solutions. Explicitly expressing rationale for their work encourages students to reflect on why they made their choices, and to actively consider multiple alternatives. We report on an experiment performed during a Data Structures course where students captured rationale.
Janet E. Burge, Bo Brinkman

Chapter 10. Does Design Rationale Enhance Creativity?

Creativity and rationale are often viewed as two contrasting facets in software design. A lack in recognizing the facilitative relationship between creativity and rationale not only underestimates the benefits designers can obtain from rationale practices, but also confines the approaches that support creativity in software design. Our exploratory study provides empirical evidence of the positive correlation between rationale and creativity. Furthermore, we found that the feasibility of design alternatives and the comprehensiveness of tradeoff evaluation are critical to enhancing novelty, persuasiveness, and insightfulness. We also discuss future directions to further understand how these properties, or rationale quality in general, affects design creativity.
Jing Wang, Umer Farooq, John M. Carroll

Chapter 11. Promoting Group Creativity in Upstream Requirements Engineering

The upstream stage of requirements engineering (RE) focuses primarily on determining high-level organizational requirements. Upstream RE provides perhaps the best opportunity to instill creativity into the design process, as it is here where stakeholders figure out what to build. However, how to incorporate creativity into current RE methods remains a fundamental concern. Negative intergroup social processes, such as those associated with status differentials, ingroup bias, and majority influence, can impede group creativity and otherwise negatively impact the upstream RE process. This chapter discuses these issues and suggests how creativity can be promoted using an IBIS design rationale coupled with group support system tools intended to diminish negative social influences between (and within) stakeholder groups.
Rosalie J. Ocker

Chapter 12. Supporting Awareness in Creative Group Work by Exposing Design Rationale

When creativity is taken as a long-term, complex, and collaborative activity, support for awareness is required for group members to monitor the development of ideas, track how these ideas became narrowed, and understand how alternatives are being implemented and integrated by colleagues. In this chapter, we investigate the effects of exposing design rationale to convey awareness, specifically activity awareness, in group creativity. Through evaluating a prototype, we investigate status updates that convey design rationale, and to what consequences, in small groups in fully distributed collaboration. We found that status updates are used for a variety of purposes and that participants’ comments on their collaborators’ status updates provided feedback. Overall, results suggest that participants’ awareness about their collaborators’ future plans increased over time. Majority of participants found the status updates useful, particularly those with higher metacognitive knowledge. Based on our results, two design strategies for activity awareness are proposed.
Umer Farooq, John M. Carroll

Chapter 13. Studying Humans to Inform Interactive Narrative Technology

This chapter describes the rationale behind studying humans in collaborative story domains to better inform interactive narrative technology practices. It describes two exemplar projects, the study of tabletop gamemasters and improvisational actors. It discusses how these projects point to a potential future direction of interactive narrative technology research.
Brian Magerko

Chapter 14. Improvisation in the Cloud: Devised Theatre in Support of Problem-Finding

This chapter provides a conceptual framework for emergent design that is crucial in the cloud environment where the device, the customer relationships and the interactivity of that device with other devices creates the full user experience. The framework draws on improvisational thinking in devised theatre as a basis for incorporating storytelling and problem-finding into the designer’s work. The chapter concludes with an example and an assessment of the benefits and the challenges to using this framework.
Irene J. Petrick, Phillip J. Ayoub, Matthew J. Prindible

Chapter 15. The Practice Level in Participatory Design Rationale: Studying Practitioner Moves and Choices

Most research in design rationale focuses on specific tools, methods, models, or artifacts. There has been relatively little attention to the practice level of design rationale work: the human experience of working with the tools and methods to create rationale artifacts. This chapter explores a particular juncture of creativity and design rationale that is found in the special case of helping groups of people construct representations of rationale within live meetings. Such work poses challenges and requires skills different from those of individuals working alone. We describe the role of practitioners who perform caretaking and facilitative functions in collaborative or participatory design rationale sessions, and present a set of analytical tools aimed at making the practice level more visible. We locate the analysis in a theoretical framework aimed at understanding the experiential dimensions of such practice, including sensemaking, narrative, aesthetics, ethics, and improvisation.
Albert M. Selvin, Simon J. Buckingham Shum, Mark Aakhus

Chapter 16. Managing Conflict in Information System Design Stakeholder Conferences: The Role of Transparency Work

This chapter examines the management of disagreement and conflict during an information systems design conference that sought agreement on a data-flow-model and design requirements among stakeholders in a new information system. The case identifies micro design practices, such as fashioning-a-record, employed in facilitating creativity and capturing rationale during the design conference. The micro-practices reveal the layers of transparency work performed by the facilita-tors that involves: (1) setting up the usability and usefulness of the technology and (2) persuading participants about the essence of their interaction. Transparency work draws attention away from the actions of the facilitators and the social-political complications while highlighting any features of the scene reflecting ideals of collaborative decision-making. The persuasion aims to remove doubt about the nature of the activity and trustworthiness of the intervention. The analysis shows how the ethnomethodological principle of the documentary method of interpretation operates in bridging the gap between technology and use, which addresses key matters in the literature on technologically supported facilitation.
Mark Aakhus

Chapter 17. Mining Creativity Research to Inform Design Rationale in Open Source Communities

Design rationale can act as a creativity support tool. Recent findings from the field of creativity research present new opportunities that can guide the implementation and evaluation of design rationale’s ability to foster creative processes and outcomes. By encouraging the exploration of failure through use of analogy, design rationale can foster creative transfer and enable progress in new directions. Open source communities offer an opportunity to observe a form of intrinsically motivated ad hoc design rationale, exhibiting formal and informal information transfer links within forums and allowing access to common tools, expertise, and mentorship. A discussion of a spectrum of implementations of design rationale informs strategies to mitigate conflicts and advance inherent synergies between design rationale and creativity.
Winslow Burleson, Priyamvada Tripathi

Chapter 18. Creativity Meets Rationale: Collaboration Patterns for Social Innovation

Collaborative communities require a wide range of face-to-face and online communication tools. Their socio-technical systems continuously grow, driven by evolving stakeholder requirements and newly available technologies. Designing tool systems that (continue to) match authentic community needs is not trivial. Collaboration patterns can help community members specify customized systems that capture their unique requirements, while reusing lessons learnt by other communnities. Such patterns are an excellent example of combining the strengths of creativity and rationale. In this chapter, we explore the role that collaboration patterns can play in designing the socio-technical infrastructure for collaborative communities. We do so via a cross-case analysis of three Dutch social innovation communities simultaneously being set-up. Our goal with this case study is two-fold: (1) understanding what social innovation is from a socio-technical lens and (2) exploring how the rationale of collaboration patterns can be used to develop creative socio-technical solutions for working communities.
Aldo de Moor

Chapter 19. Patterns for Emergent Global Intelligence

This chapter argues that Pattern Languages are an effective way to enhance individual and collective creativity. Several suggested Patterns are presented that are targeted toward making the initial stages of solving complex problems more effective and efficient.
John C. Thomas

Chapter 20. Collaborative Design Rationale and Social Creativity in Cultures of Participation

The rise in social computing has facilitated a shift from consumer ­cultures, focused on producing finished media to be consumed passively, to cultures of participation, where people can access the means to participate actively in personally meaningful problems. These developments represent unique and fundamental opportunities and challenges for rethinking and reinventing design rationale and creativity, as people acclimate to taking part in computer-mediated conversations of issues and their solutions. Grounded in our long-term research exploring these topics, this chapter articulates arguments, describes and discusses conceptual frameworks and system developments (in the context of three case studies), and provides evidence that design rationale and creativity need not be at odds with each other. Coordinating and integrating collective design rationale and social creatively provide new synergies and opportunities, particularly amid complex, open-ended, and ill-defined design problems requiring contributions and collaboration of multiple stakeholders supported by socio-technical environments in cultures of participation.
Gerhard Fischer, Frank Shipman


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