International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 20 (2). 61-77
Creativity support tools is a research topic with high risk but potentially very high payoff. The goal is to develop improved software and user interfaces that empower users to be not only more productive but also more innovative. Potential users include software and other engineers, diverse scientists, product and graphic designers, architects, educators, students, and many others. Enhanced interfaces could enable more effective searching of intellectual resources, improved collaboration among teams, and more rapid discovery processes. These advanced interfaces should also provide potent support in hypothesis formation, speedier evaluation of alternatives, improved understanding through visualization, and better dissemination of results. For creative endeavors that require composition of novel artifacts (e.g., computer programs, scientific papers, engineering diagrams, symphonies, artwork), enhanced interfaces could facilitate exploration of alternatives, prevent unproductive choices, and enable easy backtracking.
This U.S. National Science Foundation sponsored workshop brought together 25 research leaders and graduate students to share experiences, identify opportunities, and formulate research challenges. Two key outcomes emerged:
(a) encouragement to evaluate creativity support tools through multidimensional in-depth longitudinal case studies and (b) formulation of 12 principles for design of creativity support tools.