information–based ideation

Information-based ideation (IBI) is a theory and paradigm for investigating tasks and activities in which people develop new ideas; digital content serves as support and stimulus.

People curate—gather, assemble, annotate, reflect on, and exhibit—content to perform IBI activities. Each stage of curation involves creativity. Information-based ideation involves conceptualization and synthesis, beyond information seeking, sensemaking, and finding facts.

Curation platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and IdeaMÂCHÉ, function as creativity support environments for information-based ideation. We investigate Pinterest, discovering how people find, assemble, and generate ideas while performing everyday activities to address both practical and emotional needs. We design IdeaMÂCHÉ to support a range of everyday personal, academic, and professional creative activities.

How to evaluate creativity support environments is a hard problem. Information-based ideation derives formal methods for quantifying creativity in the context of an IBI task or activity. We build on prior creative cognition research in engineering design to derive a battery of ideation metrics of curation. These are used to measure aspects of creativity in curation products (e.g. Pinterest board and information composition). In laboratory and crowdsourced studies, we use these metrics to compare the effectiveness of different creativity support environments.


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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), 21(3), June 2014, 48 pages.
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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. [information composition]
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, 53-62 [32%].
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Kerne, A., Koh, E., Representing Collections as Compositions to Support Distributed Creative Cognition and Situated Creative Learning, New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia (NRHM), 13(2) Dec 2007, 135-162.
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