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Chesson, DaniDesign Thinker Profile: Creating and Validating a Scale for Measuring Design Thinking Capabilities
Ph.D., Antioch University, 2017, Leadership and Change
This study developed a scale for assessing design thinking capabilities in individuals. Many organizations today are turning to design thinking to tackle the complex challenges they face. As organizations move toward adopting this way of working the need to develop design thinking capabilities in individuals becomes imperative. The capabilities needed for engaging in design thinking are skills that we all have to some varying degree, but we do not all use them to their full potential when solving problems. The scale developed in this study measures the degree to which an individual uses design thinking capabilities when engaged in problem solving. The research process involved a two-phase mixed methods design. In Phase 1, 536 individuals responded to an online survey. The data collected were analyzed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. A new scale was developed that identified the three core capabilities needed to engage in design thinking: Solution Optimism, Visual Expression, and Collaborative Discovery. In Phase 2, 10 respondents from Phase 1 were selected to participate in follow-up interviews. Findings from the second phase of the study indicated the scale was perceived to accurately measure the use of design thinking capabilities in individuals when engaged in problem solving. Participants commented that this profile was unlike any other assessments they have taken in the past because this profile focuses on skills not emphasized in other assessments. Therefore, the new scale could be used along with other assessments to get a complete view of an individual’s skill set. The findings also indicate that this profile will be useful for executive coaches, change management practitioners, educators teaching design related courses, leaders engaged in team development, and for researchers exploring design thinking capabilities. This dissertation is accompanied by an Executive Summary [pdf] and the author’s MP4 video introduction (for transcript see Appendix I). This dissertation is available in open-access at OhioLink ETD Center, etd.ohiolink.edu, and AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/

Committee:

Mitchell Kusy (Committee Chair); Carol Baron (Committee Member); Shannon Finn Connell (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Behavioral Sciences; Behaviorial Sciences; Business Administration; Business Education; Design; Management; Organization Theory; Organizational Behavior; Social Research

Keywords:

Mixed-Methods; Scale Development; Design Thinking; Design Thinker; Design Thinking Capabilities; Design Thinking Skills; Complex Problem Solving; Innovation; Leading Change; Leadership

Salem, Nidal EleanorUsing Design Thinking to Explore Millennial Segmentation Gaps and Improve Relevancy within Cuyahoga Valley National Park
MFA, Kent State University, 2018, College of Communication and Information / School of Visual Communication Design
With low Millennial visitation rates to Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP), this study set out to employ design thinking to explore the surrounding cities' Millennial generation. This was to aid in evaluating and understanding how and in what ways CVNP could better connect with this target audience. Secondary and primary research created an abundance of Young Millennial data. This information was then used to find potential inclusion tactics, as well as to communicate strategies for building and strengthening CVNP's relevancy with this demographic. Young Millennial data reflected how the lack of audience segmentation negatively affected CVNP's Millennial visitation rate within the park. After discovering what CVNP's greatest needs and desires were, further insight directed development of a segmented social media marketing strategy and visual guide. The solutions served as successful functional tools, adequate for aiding toward building relevant content, choosing appropriate distribution channels, analyzing metrics and implementing creative tactics toward virality. Using the iterative design thinking process of inspiration, synthesis, ideation and implementation proved to successfully guide in acquiring crucial Young Millennial data, as well as creating a progressive solution aimed at bridging audience segmentation gaps.

Committee:

Sanda Katila (Advisor); Jessica Barness (Committee Member); Danielle Coombs (Committee Member); Ken Visocky O’Grady (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Communication; Design; Environmental Management; Marketing; Recreation

Keywords:

Design thinking; Millennial data; National park inclusion; National Park relevancy; Cuyahoga Valley National Park; outdoor recreation marketing; segmentation gaps; National Park Millennial research; National Park Service Research; NPS

Xu, AidiHow Design Thinking Can Improve The Patient Experience and Provide Innovation in Hospital Care Delivery
MDES, University of Cincinnati, 2016, Design, Architecture, Art and Planning: Design
Design thinking methodology is becoming a new approach to understand and determine the true need of patients and familyies and to generate a better solution for healthcare service in the hospital. There are two frameworks for design thinking: design thinking in the management realm and in the design realm. In this thesis design thinking is defined from a designer’s perspective: the whole process of how professional designers design. The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate that design thinking has a positive impact on a patient experience and provide innovation in hospital care delivery. This thesis also describes the value professional designers have brought to hospital projects. In the research, three design projects with different levels of designers’ integration were analyzed. All three projects are from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Results indicate that generally design thinking has a positive impact on hospital design projects. However, the impact varies according to a designer’s integrated level; the better a designer is integrated, the more effective the solutions will be. In addition, the more types of designers and stakeholders that are integrated the more diverse opportunities will be generated and reviewed during the design process. Furthermore, by learning and practicing the general design thinking process and design techniques, hospital staff can generate more empathetic insights, think more creatively, and push the design solutions more efficiently. Research findings suggest that a successful hospital design project will need the hospital staff to learn both design thinking process and design techniques. More importantly, they must learn how to work with designers and know each other’s capabilities.

Committee:

Craig Vogel, M.I.D. (Committee Chair); Julia Elkus, M.B.A. (Committee Member); Todd Timney, M.F.A. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Design

Keywords:

Design thinking;Hospital care;Patient centered;Case study

Burns, Mikaila MarieMapping the Gap: Using Growth Opportunity Items and Principles as well as Design Thinking to Eliminate the Creative Achievement Gap
Master of Fine Arts, The Ohio State University, 2014, Industrial, Interior Visual Communication Design
The Skills Gap is a disconnect in the skills that students have acquired throughout their education, and the skills that businesses are seeking from potential employees. The Creativity Crisis is the documented phenomenon where young children test at genius levels of creativity, but by adulthood, lose most of their creative capacity. Until now, these two ideas have been considered separate circumstances, but what if they are part of a bigger problem…of a Creative Achievement Gap? While students continue to lose creativity, businesses demand innovative, creative thinkers. Design Thinking can help to bridge the gap. Using existing research and literature, I have uncovered five separate Growth Opportunities that will help to align the goals of K–12 education, business, and learners (of any age). These Growth Opportunities are Skills, Character, Mindset, Values, and Community. Items in each individual Growth Opportunity have been communicated by authors from many different backgrounds, and writings about a variety of topics (education, business, design, thinking, creativity, etc). In the end, I will propose a list of “Shared Principles for Stakeholder Alignment” which are the Growth Opportunity items that I’ve interpreted as actionable principles that can be used to align all stakeholder groups—students, parents, teachers, workers, businesses, and learners of any age. By doing so, we can effectively address the Creative Achievement Gap.

Committee:

Paul Nini (Committee Chair); Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders Sanders, PhD (Committee Member); David Staley, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Business Community; Design; Education

Keywords:

Skills Gap, Creativity Crisis, Creativity, Education, Design Thinking, Design, Creative Process, Design Process, Growth Opportunity, Growth Opportunities

Braun, Erika L.Framing Wicked Problems Using CoDesign and a Hybrid Design Toolset
Master of Fine Arts, The Ohio State University, 2016, Industrial, Interior Visual Communication Design
Design is not simply an outcome, but a process of problem solving. The current transitional process for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the challenges faced by their healthcare providers and parents is a wicked problem that needs to be addressed. Wicked problems are not good or bad, but are often made up of multiple stakeholders and an indeterminate end-state. Design problems are often wicked; there is no definitive formula or an existing solution. Trained and practiced in reshaping complexity and ambiguity through Design Thinking to give form to new ideas that do not yet exist, Designers have the capacity to expand their role from simply `makers’ of artifacts to `makers’ of sense, building new tools and integrating new ways of problem solving to assist with framing wicked problems. The objective of this body of research is to investigate a hybrid CoDesign approach (using digital and non-digital Design Thinking tools), and the expanding role of the Designer and stakeholders in tackling wicked problems through an exploratory autism case study. The role of the Designer in addressing wicked problems and the use of technology for collective sensemaking in the Design process were investigated through the development of a digital prototype in parallel with an exploratory Participatory Action Research (PAR) case study centered on issues surrounding transitional care and support for adults with autism and their families. A diverse group of stakeholders was brought together to participate in an iterative CoDesign process aimed at building shared understanding, stimulating new ways of thinking, and reframing the wicked problem to create new resolutions for the Center for Autism Services and Transition (C.A.S.T.), a clinic for adults with autism connected to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The outcomes of the case study and findings from the development and testing of the digital prototype support the value of sensemaking and reframing, and the significance of diversity, inclusivity and immersion in PAR to engender intangible outcomes as well as design concepts that can be carried into the next stages of Design development. Additionally, the findings support the contribution potential of people on the autism spectrum in CoDesign roles and the significance of a Designer’s skillset in facilitating collaborative sessions around a multi-faceted problem and creating the tools and seeing/maker spaces through which a collective team of Designers and CoDesigners can frame problems and innovate. The case study promotes the benefit of a hybrid PAR framework that incorporates face-to-face interaction, physical toolsets for shared/critical making, and technology applications to engender new forms of engagement and to nurture each expert’s ability to meaningfully contribute to creating true value in a wicked problem. When Design is no longer perceived as only an aesthetic outcome, but instead as a valuable asset for tackling complexity, Designers will be able to see themselves, and be seen by others, as framers, new types of form givers in the front-end of the Design process – extending their value and reach to tackle more pressing issues in society.

Committee:

Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders, Ph.D., (Advisor); Alan Price (Committee Member); David Staley, Ph.D., (Committee Member); Elliot Bendoly, Ph.D., (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Design

Keywords:

wicked problems, co-design, design, sensemaking, design thinking, hybrid, digital, participatory design, framing, adductive reasoning

Amatullo , Mariana V.Design Attitude and Social Innovation: Empirical Studies of the Return on Design
Doctor of Philosophy, Case Western Reserve University, 2015, Management
Today, in a world context defined by increasing complexity, deepening disparities and rising uncertainty, the imperative of connecting knowledge with action to create systemic social change and achieve more equitable futures for all human beings is greater than ever. The task is ongoing and necessitates both the adaptation of known solutions and the discovery of new possibilities. This dissertation investigates the subject matter of design as a deeply humanistic knowledge domain that is drawing mounting attention and praise for its ability to open up new possibilities for action oriented toward social innovation and human progress. Paradoxically, despite unequivocal signs of such forms of design gaining prominence in our institutions and organizations, the unique value that professional designers impart to the class of systemic challenges and innovation opportunities at stake is an understudied pursuit that lacks articulation and merits elucidation. This dissertation contributes to filling that critical gap. Integrating theories of social innovation, organizational culture, institutional logics and design, and building on the construct of “design attitude” (a set of unique capabilities, abilities and dispositions espoused by professional designers and that are related to organizational learning and innovation), the dissertation relies on the interpretation and analyses of three independent field studies organized in a multiphase mixed methods exploratory design sequence. The dissertation is organized in a dialectical progression that presents the following overarching research question: How might we elucidate the value designers bring to the field of social innovation? The first study combines a grounded theory approach with a comparative semantic analysis of four case studies of design for social innovation projects (conducted with design teams from IDEO.org, Frog Design, Mind Lab and the former Helsinki Design Lab). The insights culled from semi-structured interviews of designers and managers with a high fluency of “design attitude” point to a unanimous concern to claim, with more clarity, the value of design as a means to achieve social innovation. This central finding informs the research design of the second study, a quantitative investigation composed of a field survey that offers an aggregate view of the positive significant relationships between the multidimensional construct of design attitude (and the five first-order dimensions of the construct that we operationalize as creativity, connecting multiple perspectives, empathy, ambiguity tolerance, and aesthetics) and social innovation project outcomes, team learning and process satisfaction, as reported by managers and designers with a high level of design fluency practicing predominantly in the social and public sectors. The study presents a set of foundational metrics that explain with new evidence how and why design matters in the domain of social innovation. The third study of the dissertation uses an ethnographic case study approach to extend the statistical insights from the prior study and probe the manifestations of design attitude in the organizational context of the Innovation Unit at UNICEF. A key finding is the identification of a number of enablers and inhibitors that advance and alternatively collide with efforts to promote and integrate design attitude capabilities as part of the organization’s overall innovation agenda. In this study, the themes of accountability and urgency emerge as important macro-level forces that define the institutional logics of UNICEF and impact the agency of design attitude at the individual level of its organizational actors. Collectively, and through the sequence of perspectives that they offer, these three empirical studies reveal with disciplined coherence and powerful evidence a set of principles and capabilities that further clarify the significance of design attitude for social innovation. From a theoretical perspective, this dissertation advances our understanding of the possibilities, limits and implications of design for social innovation amidst a multidisciplinary landscape characterized by a pluralism of emergent practices, a diversity of methods and a wide range of cultural circumstances. At the core of its theoretical contribution is a new framework that conceptualizes what we call the “return on design” (ROD) for social innovation. From a perspective of practice, this research offers new insights into how organizations might recognize and more confidently integrate key design attitude capabilities that can result not only in social innovation outcomes, but also in broad organizational impact and human progress.

Committee:

Richard Buchanan, PhD (Committee Chair); Richard Boland Jr., PhD (Committee Member); Kalle Lyytinen, PhD (Committee Member); John Paul Stephens , PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Design; Entrepreneurship; Management

Keywords:

design; social innovation; organizational culture; institutional logic; design attitude; design thinking; design practice; dialectics; ethnography; case study; innovation; mixed methods; metrics for social innovation; team learning; process satisfaction

Wendorff, Todd LouisDesign Interjection for Business Incubators
MFA, Kent State University, 2014, College of Communication and Information / School of Visual Communication Design
No matter how an entrepreneur defines failure, statistics on the success rate of start-up businesses is disheartening. Around 30 to 40 percent of start-up businesses liquidate all assets, losing all investor funding, while 70 to 80 percent fail to produce the projected return on investment. There is a strong need for effective incubation facilities which compress the learning curves of the start-ups and provide them with necessary initial support in order to improve their sustainability. There are around 1,200 business incubators operating in the United States. Joining an incubator is a great way for inexperienced entrepreneurs to receive funding and guidance to help get their ideas off the ground. It blends office spaces with mentoring programs, financial assistance, business services and the opportunity to network with experts and fellow entrepreneurs. Most incubator facilities in the U.S. are public-private partnerships, with initial support coming from the federal, state and local government bodies. Approximately half of these total facilities are affiliated with universities. While traditional business models are adequate for many established companies, the types of problems that face new businesses have changed. A decade ago, entrepreneurs were not expected to start their own brands from scratch, they were simply too hard and expensive to create and could survive by simply differentiating themselves based on product or service. Since then, expectations have risen as the start-up field has grown. It's not enough to stand out with a single idea; you have to combine it with a great product, engaging consumer experience and a voice that sets it apart from the competition. Creating a brand isn't a project with a beginning, middle and end. Instead it requires constant vigilance and must be monitored throughout the course of the brand's life. In the process of starting a company, people are often too focused on raising the capital to grow, rather than building a great brand that will draw and build a large, loyal consumer base. When design is integrated into an organization, it helps to build a sustainable future for that company. Startups should be equal parts design and business. Design should be a part of the business model from the beginning and designers should partner with business co-founders to develop great products, user experience and a culture of innovation for the long run. This thesis will explore how design and design thinking can be interjected into business incubators to help start-up companies grow and form partnerships to create long-term success. It is a comprehensive study on how design can be implemented in every level of a start-up company to create a more sustainable, withstanding business model.

Committee:

Ken Visocky O'Grady (Advisor); David Middleton (Committee Member); Julie Messing (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Business Administration; Business Community; Business Education; Design; Entrepreneurship

Keywords:

design; design thinking; design strategy; business; business incubator; incubator; startup; start-up; entrepreneur

Hasan, Iman KStorytelling as a design thinking tool to bring more and better insights to the design process
MDES, University of Cincinnati, 2014, Design, Architecture, Art and Planning: Design
Stories are universal communication strategies; they deepen our understanding of who we are as human beings, they build connections, provide encouragement and drive inspiration. Storytelling is a design thinking tool that weaves ideas and bits of information together to increase observation allows thinking in action, brings elements of the world together in the imagination to discover the potentialities of their interaction. Storytelling creates different possible scenarios for design concepts, making it the best way to bridge analysis and synthesis. And, it allows more fruitful application of imagination and empathy in design. Thus, investigating stories in general, storytelling as a design thinking tool, and Dan Roam’s 7ws theory which states that one can use the `what, who, when, where, why, how and how much’ to answer any kind of problem, is essential to be all integrated to create an activity tool that uses a process that asks the designer to compose a story of a learner experience by bridging analysis and synthesis to bring more & better insights to the design process. The integration of the different tools helps create a problem-solving platform to deliver new innovations.

Committee:

Craig Vogel, M.I.D. (Committee Chair); Ramsey Ford, M.Des. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Design

Keywords:

Storytelling;Innovation;Design Thinking;Problem Solving;Brainstorming;Dan Roam theory

Hammond, Ryan MDesigner as Cultivator: An Exploration in Critical Making for the Care of Interdisciplinary Culture
MFA, Kent State University, 2016, College of Communication and Information / School of Visual Communication Design
Alongside design's growth as an interdisciplinary field of study and practice throughout the last century, debate has arisen as to its role in the cultivation of society. At a fundamental level, it can be considered a method of action that determines successful communication of an idea, whether that idea is forthright or implicit. As a multi-faceted field that encompasses several concentrations of specialized study, it has historically played the role of mediator between the arts and sciences—an interdisciplinary approach to communication that shares notable similarities with classical rhetoric. Because of this similarity, it has been considered a part of the new rhetoric movement that emerged in the middle of the 20th century. If designers are to be considered rhetors, they must comply with the implied responsibilities of authorship by producing work that edifies the culture in which they design. This thesis asserts that design is the space between disciplines: an interdisciplinary connector within a society of disciplinary specializations. The designer must bear responsibility for care of the culture within which they work by nurturing these commonalities—even by making evident their existence. To explore this assumption, a mix of qualitative design methods are used to locate commonalities in design thinking—these primary research findings are used in turn to create a series of prototypes that further examine the disciplinary relationships of study participants through codified audio-visual representation. As an exploration in Critical Making and Speculative Design, this study seeks to investigate the question: how might design study better facilitate interdisciplinary culture?

Committee:

Ken Visocky O’Grady, MFA (Advisor); Jessica Barness, MFA (Committee Member); Nate Mucha, MFA (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Design; Personality Psychology; Web Studies

Keywords:

Interdisciplinary Study; Design Thinking; Critical Making; Speculative Design

Lu, Tai-HungA Guideline for Designing Habitual and Persuasive Systems
MDES, University of Cincinnati, 2017, Design, Architecture, Art and Planning: Design
For years, designers focused on styling, technology, and usability, but neglected to consider the users’ motivation. This study not only introduces a new perspective for designers but also serves as a design tool to create or evaluate persuasive and habit- forming systems. This study provides a general guideline for developing persuasive and habit-forming systems by helping designers to discover consumers’ motivations, pain points, and possible drivers that could persuade consumers. For designers, knowledge of persuasive and habit-forming design is important since they want consumers to use or purchase their products or services. However, in many situations, the design team fails to persuade their users because they lack the knowledge of persuasive and habit- forming design. Creating persuasive and habit-forming systems is complex, and it is full of restrictions. However, design based on a good understanding of persuasive and habit-forming systems can be very successful. Therefore, by understanding the relationship between users’ motivations and behaviors, designers can produce a more fruitful and positive outcome for their users.

Committee:

Craig Vogel, M.I.D. (Committee Chair); Gerald Michaud, M.A. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Design

Keywords:

Persuasive design;Habit-forming design;Motivation;Behavior;Design Thinking;Design Process

Mierke, David S.project: spARCH: Igniting Design Thinking Through Architecture How the Architectural Design Process can Inspire Social Entrepreneurship
MARCH, University of Cincinnati, 2012, Design, Architecture, Art and Planning: Architecture

The Issue

As the world continues to expand and business partnerships become ever more global, CEO’s and project managers are consistently looking for news ways to innovate and stay ahead of their competition. Likewise, the most pressing issues such as homelessness, poverty, and global warming still plague our world necessitating a change of approach in order to reverse these dilemmas.

While the world waits for the next invention, advocates of design are calling for a revolution and a new way of thinking. Consistently thought of as “cosmetics” and “final touches,” design has been regulated to the confines of grade school arts-and-crafts. However, those who understand the true potential of design and design thinking realize the creative and innovative potential the profession offers. As corporations and the real-world ring the bell for original, innovative, and out-of-the-box employees, schools across the country are eliminating student’s creative outlet, art class, and instead are delivering soldier-like droids whose capabilities are pre-determined by standardized tests.

The Response

In order to combat the test-driven principles of the education system and display the true potential design has, a new method must be developed. A method rooted in social entrepreneurship in order to pass along the process, tools, and techniques that will help any individual look beyond their scope of the world and not only see the potential, but begin to attain it.

Project: spARCH (pronounced ‘spark’) is a high school design studio that teaches 25 inner-city high school students in Cincinnati, Ohio about the power of design thinking through architecture. Hughes STEM High School is a non-selective inner city public school that serves an at-risk population, primarily African-American, and focuses on helping students apply their education to the real world through business and community partnerships in the Greater Cincinnati Area.

By following a process that focuses on breaking down the creative barrier and opening student’s minds to new ways of thinking, students will be taught how creative problem solving, critical thinking, and out-of-the-box approaches can extend beyond the classroom and apply to situations in their own lives.

With a series of guest mentors from professional firms around the Greater CIncinnati Area as well as local organizations heads and faculty members from the University of Cincinnati, students will be able to obtain guidance, inspiration, and first hand knowledge about how the skills taught in this course can be applied beyond the typical “walls” of design and the classroom.

Committee:

John Eliot Hancock, MARCH (Committee Chair); Jeffrey Tilman, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Design

Keywords:

Social Entrepreneurship; Design Thinking; Design Process; project: spARCH; Hughes High School; Cincinnati;

Taylor, William DA Comparative Analysis of Problem Solving Approaches Between Designers and Engineers
Master of Fine Arts, The Ohio State University, 2014, Industrial, Interior Visual Communication Design
Studying as a designer and working with engineers revealed differences between the disciplines that affect communication. The increasingly complex problems facing society require specialists to manage. Increased specialization can lead to confusion when communicating across disciplines. Designers and engineers both provide vital services to industry and it is important that they be able to work with each other as effectively as possible. With a focus on the two academic disciplines of design and engineering, I have attempted to explore whether collaboration between the two can be positively impacted. Participants from each field of study were asked to complete a series of evaluations to determine their problem solving tendencies, learning styles, and patterns in thinking. They were then asked to present their problem solving process for approaching a set of complex contemporary issues. Engineers tend to fall into logical and rational thinking patterns and are more likely to be seen as linear thinkers. Designers differ in their approach to problem solving when there is an opportunity for abstract and innovative thinking. A practical application of this information would require the contributions of both designers and engineers throughout the design and development process. Interaction between disciplines should take place in the form of information exchange, discussions, and informal dialogues. These goals can be achieved through common workspaces, support from management, and strong leadership.

Committee:

Paul Nini (Advisor); Elizabeth Sanders, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Philip Smith, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Design; Engineering

Keywords:

design; designer; designers; engineering; engineer; engineers; problem solving; linear thinking; lateral thinking; collaboration; design thinking; complex problems; wicked problems;

Damle, Amod N.Influence of design tools on design problem solving
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2008, Industrial and Systems Engineering

The literature on design thinking indicates that, in order to avoid early fixation on a less than effective overall form, product designers are trained to sketch the overall form for a design before focusing attention on the details of individual components. Using a between-subjects design, an empirical study involving 30 experienced designers was conducted to investigate how design tools can influence this process, specifically investigating the potential for color to induce early fixation on the details of a design rather than first exploring concepts for an effective overall form of that design.

In this study, the participants were randomly assigned to two groups. Both groups performed a design task that involved creating a concept sketch for a lamp by selecting and combining two features from each of the two lamps seen in a reference picture. The participants were asked to assemble several line segments of various sizes and orientations on a computer screen to create the sketch. Group one was provided with the line segments in a single color while Group two had access to the line segments in multiple colors.

It was hypothesized that the availability or use of multiple colors for sketching could influence the participants to focus on the details of the individual components before sketching the overall form. Based on the data from the verbal protocols it was found that the participants in the multi-color group were 33% more likely to verbalize the goal of sketching the overall form than those in the multi-color group. Consistent with these verbal protocols, it was observed that the multi-color group made significantly more revisions (p=0.02) on the first component before leaving it for the first time than after revisiting it (as contrasted with the single color group). This suggests that the multi-color group was more likely to focus on the details of the first component before completing a sketch of the overall form.

One way of explaining these results is to say that the availability of multiple colors influenced the participants to mentally group design elements into discrete objects and create a perceptual or cognitive discontinuity, focusing attention on the details of the first component before sketching the outlines of the rest of the components. As a result, they were less likely to apply their training and to sketch the overall form before working on the details of specific components. Thus, these findings indicate that, like the problem-solving processes involved in diagnosis and planning, the problem-solving processes involved in a creative activity like design can be influenced in fundamental ways by the features of the tool provided.

Committee:

Philip Smith, PhD (Committee Chair); Liz Sanders, PhD (Committee Member); Matthew Lewis, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Behaviorial Sciences; Design; Fine Arts; Industrial Engineering; Psychology; Systems Design; Technology

Keywords:

early design; prototyping; sketching; design thinking, design cognition; design theory; science of design; graphic design tools; cognitive boundary theory; breadth-first; depth-first; fixation