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.


Jain, A., Lupfer, N., Qu, Y., Linder, R., Kerne, A., Smith, S. M., Evaluating TweetBubble with Ideation Metrics of Exploratory Browsing, Proc. ACM Creativity and Cognition 2015, 178-187 [28%]. Best Paper Honorable Mention. [video]
Linder, R., Lupfer, N., Kerne, A., Webb, A. M., Hill, C., Qu, Y., Keith, K., Carrasco M., Kellogg, E. Beyond Slideware: How a Free-form Presentation Medium Stimulates Free-form Thinking in the Classroom, Proc. ACM Creativity and Cognition 2015, 285-294. [28%].
Webb, A.M., Pen + Touch Diagramming to Stimulate Design Ideation, to appear in Proc. Creativity and Cognition 2015, Graduate Symposium.
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.
Linder, R., Snodgrass, C., and Kerne, A. Everyday Ideation: All of My Ideas Are On Pinterest, Proc. CHI 2014, 2411-2420 [23%].
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%].
Kerne, A., Latulipe, C., Drucker, S.M., Candy, L., Höök, K., Webb, A.M., and Carroll, E. Evaluation methods for creativity support environments, Proc CHI 2013 Extended Abstracts, 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.
Webb, A.M. and Kerne, A., Creative Visual Thinking through Information Composition + Diagramming, CHI 2012 Visual Thinking & Digital Imagery Workshop, 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) 2011, 203-212 [23%]. [video]
Smith, S.M., Linsey, J.S., Kerne, A. Using Evolved Analogies to Overcome Creative Design Fixation, Proc Design Creativity 2010, 35-39.
Kerne, A., Koh, E., Smith, S. M., Webb, A., Dworaczyk, B., combinFormation: Mixed-Initiative Composition of Image and Text Surrogates Promotes Information Discovery , ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS), 27(1), Dec. 2008, 5:1-45.
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., 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.
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 and Cognition 2007, 117-126 [23%].
Koh, E., Kerne, A., Webb, A., Damaraju, S., Sturdivant, D., Generating Views of the Buzz: Browsing Popular Media and Authoring using Mixed-Initiative Composition, Proc ACM Multimedia 2007, 228-237 [19%].
Kerne, A., Koh, E., Dworaczyk, B., Mistrot, J.M., Choi, H., Smith, S., Graeber, R., Caruso, D., Webb, A., Hill, R., Albea, J., combinFormation: A Mixed-Initiative System for Representing Collections as Compositions of Image and Text Surrogates,
Proc Joint ACM/IEEE Conf. on Digital Libraries (JCDL) 2006, 11-20 [23%].
Koh, E., Kerne, A., I Keep Collecting: College Students Build and Utilize Collections in Spite of Breakdowns, Proc European Conf on Digital Libraries (ECDL) 2006, 303-314 [27%].
Kerne, A., Koh, E., Choi, H., Dworaczyk, B., Smith, S.M., Hill, R., Albea, J., Supporting Creative Learning Experience with Compositions of Image and Text Surrogates, Proc Ed Media 2006.
Kerne, A., Smith, S.M., Choi, H., Graeber, R., Caruso, D., Evaluating Navigational Surrogate Formats with Divergent Browsing Tasks, Proc CHI 2005 Extended, 1537-1540.
Kerne, A., Smith, S.M., The Information Discovery Framework. Proc ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2004, 357-360 [25%].
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, 847-856.
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