information based ideation

We define information-based ideation (IBI) to span personal, academic, career, and organizational human activities, which encompass imagining, conceptualizing, planning, developing, and reflecting. Information plays an essential role. IBI tasks go beyond seeking and learning facts, beyond understanding what already is. Thus, while IBI is engaged across life and work, many tasks involving information, from fact finding to basic assessment, are not IBI.

IBI activities connect analysis and synthesis. Goals include to think, get a sense, have ideas, develop interpretations, achieve insight, gain a new vantage, build perspective, and contribute innovation. Personal IBI activities may involve a meal, outing, vacation, makeover, home furnishing, creative medium, relationship, child, transition, or life stage. Academic IBI task areas include a paper, internship, education, degree, thesis, or career. Professional IBI task areas include campaigns, exploration, design, art, and invention. Fields in which IBI is important include science, engineering, humanities, arts, architecture, entertainment, business, exploration, and crisis response.

What do people create through engagement in IBI? Curation of digital media incorporates conceptualization, choosing found information, annotation, and synthesis. Through engagement in IBI tasks, the products people create are curations.

We develop and invoke mixed evaluation methods, connecting quantitative and qualitative data and analysis.

To formulate a quantitative methodology for evaluating IBI support tools, we build on prior creative cognition research in engineering design to derive a battery of ideation metrics of curation. These are used to measure the creative products that people make using particular creativity support environments, while engaged in IBI activities. The metrics include variety, novelty, fluency, relevance, visual presentation, exposition, and emergence..

Our research in qualitative evaluation of IBI is based in grounded theory, a processes of continuous comparison, in which participants' perspectives are iteratively elicited, characterized, categorized (coded), connected, and verified.


Kerne, A., Webb, A.M., Smith, S.M., Linder, R., Lupfer, N., Qu, Y., Moeller, J., Damaraju, S., Using Metrics of Curation to Evaluate Information-based Ideation, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (ToCHI) 2014, accepted and in press, 48 pages.
Linder, R., Snodgrass, C., and Kerne, A. Everyday Ideation: All of My Ideas Are On Pinterest, Proc. CHI 2014, Toronto, Canada, April 2014.
Webb, A.M., Kerne, A., Linder, R., Lupfer, N., Qu, Y., Keith, K., Carrasco, M., Multi-Scale Information Composition: a New Medium for Freeform Art Curation in the Cloud, CHI 2014 Workshop: Curating the Digital: Spaces for Art and Interaction, Toronto, Canada, April 2014.
Webb, A.M., Linder, R., Kerne, A., Lupfer, N., Qu, Y., Poffenberger, B., and Revia, C., Promoting Reflection and Interpretation in Education: Curating Rich Bookmarks as Information Composition, Proc. Creativity and Cognition 2013, Sydney, Australia, June 2013.
Kerne, A., Latulipe, C., Drucker, S.M., Candy, L., Höök, K., Webb, A.M., and Carroll, E. Evaluation methods for creativity support environments, In CHI Extended Abstracts, 2013, 3295-3298.
Linder, R., Webb, A.M., and Kerne, A., Searching to Measure the Novelty of Collected Ideas, CHI 2013 Evaluation Methods for Creativity Support Environments Workshop, Paris, France, May 2013.
Webb, A.M. and Kerne, A., Creative Visual Thinking through Information Composition + Diagramming, Visual Thinking & Digital Imagery Workshop, CHI 2012, Austin, TX, USA.
Webb, A.M., Kerne, A. Integrating Implicit Structure Visualization with Authoring Promotes Ideation, Proc Joint ACM/IEEE Conf. on Digital Libraries (JCDL), June 13-17, 2011, Ottawa, Canada.
Kerne, A., Smith, S.M., Koh, E., Choi, H., Graeber, R., An Experimental Method for Measuring the Emergence of New Ideas in Information Discovery, International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (IJHCI), 24 (5) July 2008, 460-477.
Kerne, A., Koh, E., Smith, S.M., Choi, H., Graeber, R., Webb., A., Promoting Emergence in Information Discovery by Representing Collections with Composition, Proc ACM Creativity & Cognition, Washington DC, June 2007, 117-126.
Koh, E., Kerne, A., I Keep Collecting: College Students Build and Utilize Collections in Spite of Breakdowns, Proc European Conf on Digital Libraries (ECDL), Sept 2006, Alicante, Spain.
Kerne, A., Smith, S.M., Choi, H., Graeber, R., Caruso, D., Evaluating Navigational Surrogate Formats with Divergent Browsing Tasks, Proc ACM CHI 2005.
Kerne, A., Smith, S.M., The Information Discovery Framework. Proc ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2004, 357-360.

Shah, J.J., Smith, S.M., Vargas-Hernandez, N., Gerkins, D.R., Wulan, M. (2003)
Empirical Studies of Design Ideation: Alignment of Design Experiments with Lab Experiments, Proc DETC 2003: ASME 2003 International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology

Shah, J.J., Smith, S.M., Vargas-Hernandez, N. (2002)
Metrics for Measuring Ideation Effectiveness, Design Studies, 24:2, 111-134.

Dodds, R. A., Ward, T.B., & Smith, S.M. (2003) Review of experimental literature on incubation in problem solving and creativity, in M. A. Runco (Ed.), Creativity research handbook, Vol. 3. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

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