The main aim of the research presented in this thesis is to inform the design of interactive
computer systems for supporting creative knowledge work. Research into creativity and
knowledge work has been explored and used to develop a criteria modelling approach. The
particular contribution of the author's work is the drawing together of that research and
applying the findings to interaction design. The publications were selected on the basis of
how well they represent the main outcomes of the work. The journey from prescribing
system requirements and design goals to framing the system design process in terms of
evaluation criteria may be traced through the papers presented.
Interest in creativity and the role of computer technology in creative tasks has recently
increased. A number of national initiatives have been set in motion in the LJK, beginning in
December 1996 with the Initiative for National Action on Creative Technologies, the
Creative Media Initiative: Technology Foresight, Department of Trade and Industry,
National Endowment for Science and Technology in the Arts (NESTA) and the People and
Computers Programme, of the Engineering & Physical Science Research Council
(EPSRC). Thus, the author's involvement in creativity research and computer support is
proving to be timely. Amongst her recent initiatives is Creativity and Cognition, an
international symposium which brings together creative people in the arts with
technologists and scientists.
The thesis is divided into three parts : themes and outcomes, methodology and case
studies. A criteria-based modelling approach is presented which has evolved from earlier
models that represent key elements of creativity and knowledge work. A model of creative
knowledge work is proposed and categories of criteria identified. Underpinning the main
outcomes are the case studies which were carried out in industry/academic collaborative
projects. The findings were considered in relation to other studies. The thesis presents an
approach to computer systems design and development that directly links the requirements
definition to the application of evaluation criteria. These criteria are based upon the
characteristics of the cognitive style and working practices of creative knowledge workers.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.