Visual sensemaking of massive crowdsourced data for design ideation

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: He, Yuejun (1); Camburn, Bradley (1); Luo, Jianxi (1); Yang, Maria C. (2); Wood, Kristin L. (1)
Series: ICED
Institution: Singapore University of Technology and Design
Section: Design creativity
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Textual idea data from online crowdsourcing contains rich information of the concepts that underlie the original ideas and can be recombined to generate new ideas. But representing such information in a way that can stimulate new ideas is not a trivial task, because crowdsourced data are often vast and in unstructured natural languages. This paper introduces a method that uses natural language processing to summarize a massive number of idea descriptions and represents the underlying concept space as word clouds with a core-periphery structure to inspire recombinations of such concepts into new ideas. We report the use of this method in a real public-sector-sponsored project to explore ideas for future transportation system design. Word clouds that represent the concept space underlying original crowdsourced ideas are used as ideation aids and stimulate many new ideas with varied novelty, usefulness and feasibility. The new ideas suggest that the proposed method helps expand the idea space. Our analysis of these ideas and a survey with the designers who generated them shed light on how people perceive and use the word clouds as ideation aids and suggest future research directions.

Keywords: Design ideation, Core-periphery structure, Crowdsourcing, Creativity, Computer Aided Design (CAD)


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