A challenge for human-computer interaction researchers and user interface designers is to construct information technologies that support creativity. This ambitious goal can be attained if designers build on an adequate understanding of creative processes. This paper describes a model of creativity, the four-phase genex framework for generating excellence:
- Collect: learn from previous works stored in digital libraries, the web, etc.
- Relate: consult with peers and mentors at early, middle and late stages
- Create: explore, compose, discover, and evaluate possible solutions
- Donate: disseminate the results and contribute to the digital libraries, the web, etc.
Within this integrated framework, there are eight activities that require human-computer interaction research and advanced user interface design. This paper concentrates on techniques of information visualization that support creative work by enabling users to find relevant information resources, identify desired items in a set, or discover patterns in a collection. It describes information visualization methods and proposes five questions for the future: generality, integration, perceptual foundations, cognitive principles, and collaboration.