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SPECIAL ISSUE ON CREATIVITY AND RATIONALE IN SOFTWARE DESIGN. Marja Kankaanranta, Editor ISSN: Volume 6, Number 1, May PDF

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ISSN: Volume 6, Number 1, May 2010 SPECIAL ISSUE ON CREATIVITY AND RATIONALE IN SOFTWARE DESIGN Volume John M. 1, Carroll, Number 2, Guest October Editor 2005 Marja Kankaanranta, Editor Pertti
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ISSN: Volume 6, Number 1, May 2010 SPECIAL ISSUE ON CREATIVITY AND RATIONALE IN SOFTWARE DESIGN Volume John M. 1, Carroll, Number 2, Guest October Editor 2005 Marja Kankaanranta, Editor Pertti Saariluoma, Editor in Chief An Interdisciplinary Journal on Humans in ICT Environments Volume 6, Number 1, May 2010 DOI: Contents From the Editor in Chief: The Right Concepts for the Right Problems pp. 1 3 Pertti Saariluoma Guest Editor s Introduction: The Essential Tension of Creativity pp and Rationale in Software Design John M. Carroll Original Articles Critical Conversations: Feedback as a Stimulus to Creativity pp in Software Design Raymond McCall Juxtaposing Design Representations for Creativity pp Alistair Sutcliffe Promoting Group Creativity in Upstream Requirements Engineering pp Rosalie Ocker The Practice Level in Participatory Design Rationale: Studying pp Practitioner Moves and Choices Albert M. Selvin, Simon J. Buckingham Shum, & Mark Aakhus Using Rationale to Assist Student Cognitive and Intellectual Development pp Janet E. Burge & Bo Brinkman Does Design Rationale Enhance Creativity? pp Jing Wang, Umer Farooq, & John M. Carroll Human Technology: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Humans in ICT Environments Editor-in-Chief: Pertti Saariluoma, University of Jyväskylä, Finland Board of Editors: Jóse Cañas, University of Granada, Spain Karl-Heinz Hoffmann, Technical University Munich, Germany Jim McGuigan, Loughborough University, United Kingdom Raul Pertierra, University of the Philippines and Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines Lea Pulkkinen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland Howard E. Sypher, Purdue University, USA Human Technology is an interdisciplinary, scholarly journal that presents innovative, peer-reviewed articles exploring the issues and challenges surrounding human-technology interaction and the human role in all areas of our ICT-infused societies. Human Technology is published by the Agora Center, University of Jyväskylä and distributed without a charge online. ISSN: Submissions and contact: Managing Editor: Barbara Crawford Technical Support: Laura Fadjukoff & Fotini Bogiatzi An Interdisciplinary Journal on Humans in ICT Environments ISSN: Volume 6 (1), May 2010, 1 3 From the Editor in Chief THE RIGHT CONCEPTS FOR THE RIGHT PROBLEMS Pertti Saariluoma Cognitive Science, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems University of Jyväskylä, Finland The concepts we use, in many ways, influence what we perceive. If a cardiologist investigating the human heart with an ultrasound device shows us the visuals, it is easy to see the same movements of pixels on screen that he or she does. We would see how white and black spots keep flowing in a specific pattern. If the cardiologist points out a white spot as a blood vessel, we could probably discriminate it easily. Over time, we might be able identify the regular movement in a white area as one of the valves and the black area reflecting the blood moving from one chamber to another. We also would see how the numbers along the side of the screen keep changing. Yet, even with these observations, we would not be able to make much of a diagnosis. What we would not know about this experience is that the ultrasound tool is not necessarily very effective when looking at the vessels of the heart or what the numbers mean regarding blood flow. And we would not even know whether everything is in order. So although we could see various aspects of the heart and blood flow, we would not have the concepts nor the related systems of experts knowledge, to fully comprehend the images projected onto the screen. This same reality applies to modern technologies. Today, when ICTs are playing larger and larger roles in our lives, their design and development are becoming very complex issues requiring many types of knowledge. Creators of technologies need to understand electronics, signal processing, and information about raw materials. For example, designing devices for construction work requires the ability to know how to keep the equipment from becoming too dirty too fast. And in contemporary television technology, the focus is to find a way to save electricity, which is a goal quite distinct from the engineers work a half century ago. As a final example, it is difficult to keep data signals in optimal form as they move around the globe. Thus, it must be remembered how difficult it can be to get technologies to always work reliably in society. Such work nowadays presupposes a deep understanding of the human dimension, which in turn presupposes in-depth knowledge of human research. The development of technologies in past centuries has had quite a different emphasis. These machines and devices had been special purpose tools, which meant there had been a clearly definable user need that was intuitively recognized and understood through common sense. Even complex technologies such as engines, ships, or paper machines had a very clear 2010 Pertti Saariluoma and the Agora Center, University of Jyväskylä DOI: 1 Saariluoma need to serve and an easily identified user. Therefore they were easily and obviously positioned in the society: Paper is needed by publishers and private persons for a variety of everyday needs. Of course, some analysis was required, for example, to make a good paper handkerchief; specialized uses had their requirements. But these problems were primarily technical: How can it best fill its goal? Is it affordable? Does it look clean and can it stand, for instance, the high humidity or high temperatures in locations where it might be used? These are important questions in the design process, to be sure, but the act of using such a product is relatively elementary and intuitive. Today s machines, however, are more likely to be technically general-purpose devices. This means that the same technology can be used for multiple perhaps many multiple different, and sometimes quite distinct, purposes. As a result, the primary goal is no longer definable in simple technical terms, meaning the physical, electrical, or chemical concepts. While these concepts are essential in creating the devices, they have practically no direct relationship with the actual human use. The set of possible user needs and the ways of using any given technology are growing exponentially in complexity. Because of this new reality, designers can no longer easily rely on traditional technical concepts. In fact, this reality is changing the basic technical concepts in some critical ways. In some cases, these traditional technical concepts can easily block development rather than aid it. This arises because traditional concepts do not help us in seeing what is happening on the screen of human life. At times, the novelty of a design situation has been surprising, and perhaps the designers concepts and assumptions were not what they should have been. In many of these cases, the design process was lacking sufficient information about human life, human needs and desires, and human interaction. It became clear that the concepts of human science were not implemented within in the technology design. In reality, it takes time to fully develop tools reliable for solving human technology interaction problems. The basic concepts of life and human sciences, therefore, often have been tapped for solving design problems that are connected with human technology interaction. In biology, the theories of evolution have been foundational concepts because they explain so many critical phenomena of life (Dawkins, 2009). However, they do not offer much understanding of the problems of human technology interaction: Evolution operates at a too general level. Meanwhile, theories in psychology have provided insight into very important issues, such as infant-to-adult development and the nature of schizophrenia. Again, while these are vital issues, they have very little to do with human technology interaction. The same applies to history and literary critique: How could they add their perspective to the whole understanding? Finally, sociologists have done much in identifying and investigating a wide variety of topics and issues that assist in understanding the differences between communities and societies (Tönnies, 1887/2002; Weber, 1922/1978). On the eve of fully developed social media practices, these concepts might become important, if only we knew how. In general, the development of technologies has resulted in situations in which technical concepts provide very little to assistance to designers and engineers to helping them solve the problems technologies use: Human research has not yet reached a point that clearly articulates what design professionals should do. In our present positions ever changing between the past and the future we wrestle with how what has been can be readily adapted for what is and what is to come. This can best be observed regarding issues of law, and specifically copyright protection. Emerging technical possibilities create social situations that are not easily resolved 2 The Right Concepts for the Right Problems through current laws. Copyrights, for example, were made to protect artists. However, technologies today often provide multiple ways to circumvent the restrictions. How do we, as societies and members of societies, address such challenges? Of course, the open-source movement, which values free access and the sharing of ideas and product, does not view contemporary law as the only means of creating and distributing technologies. Balancing the proprietary rights of creators and producers through legal means versus free access is one of the major conceptual changes for contemporary artists and knowledge producers. We humans and designers in particular are living and working in situations that place enormous demands to our conceptual systems. And, in order to continue progressing as a technological species, our conceptual systems must be redesigned. Of course, such an adaptation need not be as revolutionary as were needed following, for example, the development of the printing press or the innovation of the steam engine. But such a renewal in our conceptual systems is required, whether we like it or not: We either learn to see clearly the important phenomena around us and for us or we fumble around like blind kittens. In this special topic issue, we can again see work that has been done to improve our way of conceiving human technology interaction. The six papers published here reflect the work of the eminent John Carroll, our guest editor, as an outgrowth of a collaborative workshop that explored the intersection of creativity and rationale in software design. Each paper explores a perspective on the role of creativity in the application of design rationale, or how rationale can facilitate design creativity. Both are essential when our considering how conceptual systems as design professionals and ordinary humans can be expanded. REFERENCES Dawkins, R. (2009). The greatest show on Earth: The evidence for evolution. New York: Free Press Tönnies, F. (2002). Community and society (C. P. Loomis, Ed. & Trans.). Devon, UK: Dover Publications. (Original work published in 1887; original translation published in 1957) Weber, M. (1978). Economy and society (Vols. 1 & 2; G. Roth & C. Wittich, Eds.; E. Fischoff, H. Gerth, A. M. Henderson, F. Kolegar, C. W. Mills, T. Paarsons, M. Rheinstein, G. Roth, E. Shils, & C. Wittich, Trans.). Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press. (This translation based on the 4 th ed. in German, J. Winkelmann, Ed.; original text published 1922) Author s Note All correspondence should be addressed to: Pertti Saariluoma University of Jyväskylä Cognitive Science, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems P.O. Box 35 FIN University of Jyväskylä, FINLAND Human Technology: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Humans in ICT Environments ISSN An Interdisciplinary Journal on Humans in ICT Environments ISSN: Volume 6 (1), May 2010, 4 10 Guest Editor s Introduction THE ESSENTIAL TENSION OF CREATIVITY AND RATIONALE IN SOFTWARE DESIGN John M. Carroll Center for Human-Computer Interaction and College of Information Sciences and Technology The Pennsylvania State University, USA Creativity and rationale connote two faces of design that are sometimes viewed as complementary: envisioning new worlds through intuitive strokes of innovation versus analyzing reasons and tradeoffs to guide the development of new artifacts and systems. Because it is frequently the case that different practitioners and researchers, and different design disciplines, prize one or the other more highly, there is not only a contrast, but also a lack of integration between creativity and rationale. Yet looking at the two, it also seems they are indivisible: What would be the point of building and/or using rationale in design if doing so were to result in anything other than greater creativity? And almost analogously, what good would be served by cultivating or purporting creativity that could never be interrogated, understood, or deliberately improved and applied, never be explained or conveyed to colleagues, never be passed on to students? On the other hand, this is most definitely not to say that the only reason for rationale in design is to enhance creativity, or that sources of creativity that cannot be explicitly articulated (put into words) have no value. Rather, it is to say that designers and design researchers should want rationales and rationale practices that enhance creativity, and should want to be able to understand and to explain their use of creativity to students, to clients, to users, and to other stakeholders. It is not hard to state how creativity and rationale could fail to have a mutually facilitative relationship. Rationale can easily become an obsession of documentation and formalization, excessively detailing issues, arguments, and alternatives to an extent or in a manner that no one would ever want to revisit, let alone create in the first place. And indeed, rationale practices are often cited as exemplifying a classic rationalist misunderstanding of what design is about and how it moves forward. Rationale practices that suffocate design by enforcing a tedious documentation burden could appropriately be regarded as undermining possibilities for creativity. But creativity has its challenges as well. It is sometimes characterized as necessarily arcane, inherently ineffable, and slightly (or even primarily) mystical. But this attitude unambitiously conflates the nuance and intellectual rigor required to pose and investigate subtle questions with reluctance to pose questions at all. It makes it a point of definition (or 2010 John M. Carroll and the Agora Center, University of Jyväskylä DOI: 4 Tension Between Creativity and Rationale in Design perhaps religion) that creativity cannot be fathomed or explained simply. It is true that such a view of creativity would have few or no implications for understanding, teaching, or practicing design. But we are not forced to this view. Perhaps, like learning, emotion, sociality, and other characteristically human capacities, creativity is embedded in activity, difficult to isolate for analysis, but quite real and principled. Ironically, and tragically, research on creativity may have inadvertently vindicated the tendency towards know-nothing views of creativity by considering it in austere generality, and (perhaps as a result) producing fairly ethereal and obvious characterizations, for example, the somewhat underwhelming chestnut that creative activity requires both divergent and convergent thinking. Given how easy it is to imagine, or just to see in the world, that creativity and rationale can have little to offer one another, it becomes all the more interesting to ask whether and how creativity and rationale can have mutually facilitative interactions. A WORKSHOP ON CREATIVITY AND RATIONALE IN SOFTWARE DESIGN A diverse group of designers and design researchers met at Penn State University, June 15-17, 2008, to exchange perspectives and approaches, to articulate and develop new research ideas and hypotheses, and to reconsider and reconstruct prior work and results toward new research directions. The workshop included thought leaders from several software design research communities, such as human computer interaction design, sociotechnical systems design, requirements engineering, information systems, and artificial intelligence: Mark Ackerman, University of Michigan; Eli Blevis, Indiana University; Janet Burge, Miami University of Ohio; John Carroll, The Pennsylvania State University; Fred Collopy, Case Western Reserve University; John Daughtry, The Pennsylvania State University; Umer Farooq, The Pennsylvania State University; Gerhard Fischer, University of Colorado; Jodi Forlizzi, Carnegie-Mellon University; Batya Friedman, University of Washington; John Gero, George Mason University; Steve Harrison, Virginia Tech; Sal March, Vanderbilt University; Raymond McCall, University of Colorado; Rosalie Ocker, The Pennsylvania State University; Colin Potts, Georgia Institute of Technology; Mary Beth Rosson, The Pennsylvania State University; Al Selvin, the Open University and Verizon; Alistair Sutcliffe, University of Manchester; and Deborah Tatar, Virginia Tech. The workshop premise was that creativity and rationale should not be opposed worldviews, and that coordinating them and integrating them is a key to having more effectively reflective design practices, and absolutely essential to a serious science of design. Discussions of design in the computer and information science and engineering (aka CISE) disciplines are highly compartmentalized. In software engineering, design is often discussed as if it were nearly algorithmic, whereas in human-computer interaction it is often treated as nearly ineffable art. At a finer level, critical concepts like rationale and creativity are understood in multiple incompatible ways. Thus, rationale can be a designer s inchoate intent, an analyst s inference about overall intent or significance, a comprehensive representation of the design process (e.g., IBIS; Kunz & Rittel, 1970), or a detailed (e.g., propositional) representation of consequences for various sorts of users (elaborated by empirical results; Moran & Carroll, 1996). Similarly, creativity can refer to the personal experience of being creative (e.g., flow, Csikszentmihalyi, 1996; or eudaimonic well-being, 5 Carroll Ryan & Deci, 2001), it can refer to the novelty of strategies and practices employed in design as problem solving, it can refer purely operationally to the proportion of novel ideas generated, or it can refer to the novelty of artifacts and other embodied products (cf. innovation; von Hippel, 1988). The workshop started with seven orienting questions: 1. When and how can design rationale evoke creativity in design? For example, does/can design rationale function differently (more effectively) in end-user design, participatory design, pair programming/agile design, or open source design communities? 2. When and how can design rationale fail to evoke, or even undermine, creativity? 3. How can the construction of design rationale be construed and experienced as a creative activity? And how can this be enhanced? 4. What tools and methods for rationale can support or enhance the creativity of design products? For example, how much structure should design rationale tools provide/impose to maximize creative outcomes (e.g., contrast QOC, gibis, and design blogs). 5. How might valuing the creativity of rationales inspire new forms of design rationale? What would be characteristics of such new forms of rationale? 6. How can design rationale be used in the classroom to motivate and instruct students about reflection, idea generation, and evaluation? 7. What are useful models, theories, and frameworks for understanding a
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