Investigating effects of stimuli on ideation outcomes

DS 87-8 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 8: Human Behaviour in Design, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Venkataraman, Srinivasan; Song, Binyang; Luo, Jianxi; Subburaj, Karupppasamy; Elara, Mohan Rajesh; Blessing, Lucienne; Wood, Kristin
Series: ICED
Institution: Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Section: Human Behaviour in Design
Page(s): 309-318
ISBN: 978-1-904670-96-4
ISSN: 2220-4342


This research investigates the effects of using stimuli, such as patents, on ideation outcomes, through the research questions: (a) What is the effect of stimuli on ideation outcomes? and (b) What is the effect of stimuli distance on ideation outcomes? An experiment to address these questions entails an ideation exercise involving 105 participants generating 226 concepts without or with patents and other resources. Significant findings are: (a) more concepts are generated with patents than without patents, (b) more concepts are generated with patents identified by participants on their own than using pre-chosen patents, (c) more concepts are generated using both patents and other resources than other degrees of stimulation, (d) concepts developed using both patents and other resources have higher novelty and quality than concepts generated without any stimuli, and (e) no significant correlations are observed between the proximity of stimuli to problem domains with novelty and quality of concepts. These results have practical implications on using stimuli to improve ideation outcomes for designers, design teams, and organisations, and motivate investigation into the stimuli used.

Keywords: Conceptual design, Creativity, Design engineering, Patents, Analogical design


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