Increasing Creative Output by Visually Enhancing Engineering Design Tools
Harr, David D
Innovation does not come about by random chance but is intentionally cultivated by the efforts of a designer. Many strategies exist for approaching design, ranging from the instinctual and intuitive to the more technical or analytical methods. When it comes to design, engineers are continually striving to improve the effectiveness of the design process. One area of the engineering design process deserving of attention is the ideation phase. Ideation refers to the brainstorming and idea generating activities that usually happen early in the design process. When faced with a problem engineers work to gather as many potential solutions as possible. Having a large body of initial ideas helps designers converge on an optimum final solution. Engineers have developed numerous analytical ideation tools to guide cognitive design processes and increase ideation productivity. This research investigates the effects of enhancing conceptual design tools in accordance with recommendations from the field of cognitive science. Pedagogy and learning theory literature frequently advocate for the use of multimodal representation. This refers to using multiple sensory avenues like text, sound, and visuals to communicate more effectively. A common application of this multimodal principle is to supplement text with visuals. This research investigates the impact of such a recommendation within the context of design ideation. An experiment was organized to evaluate the effect of adding visual icons to an analytical ideation tool. Using a panel of expert graders, the ideation results of engineering students were graded. This data was then statistically analyzed to look for correlations between the merit of the ideation outcomes and the presence/absence of visual icons. Ultimately, no correlation was found between increased merit in ideation outputs and the presence of visuals in the ideation tool. Upon reflection, it was proposed that there are simply other factors which had a bigger impact on the ideation results in the context of this experiment. Finally, the investigation added insight into the use of different parameters for measuring ideation effectiveness including quality, quantity, novelty, feasibility, and variety. The statistical analysis revealed that in this experiment a positive correlation existed between all five metrics. This implies that in certain applications researchers may be able to justify only using one criterion for evaluating creative ideation output.
Harr, David D. (May 2022). Increasing Creative Output by Visually Enhancing Engineering Design Tools (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/10678.)
Harr, David D. Increasing Creative Output by Visually Enhancing Engineering Design Tools. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, May 2022. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/10678. February 26, 2024.
Harr, David D, “Increasing Creative Output by Visually Enhancing Engineering Design Tools” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, May 2022).
Harr, David D. Increasing Creative Output by Visually Enhancing Engineering Design Tools [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; May 2022.
East Carolina University