Publication | ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2022

“I don’t want to feel like I’m working in a 1960s factory.”

The Practitioner Perspective on Creativity Support Tool Adoption

The rapid growth of applications that augment people’s creativity (e.g., AutoCAD, Maya, Illustrator), typically referred to as Creativity Support Tools, makes it so practitioners have to constantly be up to date on the latest and greatest technology. Choosing to adopt a particular application or ecosystem is tricky, and tied to many decisions, from organizational requirements, to individual preferences, or constraints such as budget and so on. We wanted to better understand: “what are creative practitioners’ values when choosing a new tool? Why do they leave a particular ecosystem? How do they find out about these tools?”.

To answer these questions we conducted a three-part qualitative study, combining existing data from 23 YouTube videos, followed by 13 practitioner interviews, and lastly, 105 practitioner survey used to quantify the values resulting from the analysis of the first two parts. There are 3 main lessons from this study:

  1. Practitioners hold many values, which we structured around a 7-category framework based on empirical data.
  2. As technology designers, we can leverage which values to focus on to further encourage technology adoption.
  3. We can use the framework to reflect on, and evaluate what we make, as the framework ties past HCI heuristics.

Overall this framework can help people in different fronts, including UX designers and researchers, educators, programmers and software decision-makers. The framework can also help with the evaluation of systems, as we now have an integrated vocabulary we can use to reflect on, and discuss the extent to which a set of features meet practitioners’ values.

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Abstract

“I don’t want to feel like I’m working in a 1960s factory”: The Practitioner Perspective on Creativity Support Tool Adoption

Srishti Palani, David Ledo, George Fitzmaurice, Fraser Anderson

ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2022 (Honorable Mention)

With the rapid development of creativity support tools, creative practitioners (e.g., designers, artists, architects) have to constantly explore and adopt new tools into their practice. While HCI research has focused on developing novel creativity support tools, little is known about creative practitioner’s values when exploring and adopting these tools. We collect and analyze 23 videos, 13 interviews, and 105 survey responses of creative practitioners reflecting on their values to derive a value framework. We find that practitioners value the tools’ functionality, integration into their current workflow, performance, user interface and experience, learning support, costs and emotional connection, in that order. They largely discover tools through personal recommendations. To help unify and encourage reflection from the wider community of CST stakeholders (e.g., systems creators, researchers, marketers, educators), we situate the framework within existing research on systems, creativity support tools and technology adoption.

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