Aarhus University Seal

How Digital Tools Impact Convergent and Divergent Thinking in Design Ideation

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch


Digital tools that support creative activities are ubiquitous in the design industry, yet practitioners appear to prefer pen and paper for design ideation. To better understand this exception, we conducted a comparative study between analog and digital tools and their impact on the divergent and convergent thinking patterns of groups of designers. We analysed how 24 participants solved comparable design ideation tasks in two conditions using linkographic protocol analysis - a notation method that focuses on identifying and linking small steps in the design process called moves. Our findings suggest that digital ideation tools yield more convergent thinking compared to analog tools, with no discernible impact on general productivity or divergent thinking.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '21: Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems : Making Waves, Combining Strengths
Number of pages11
Place of publicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication year2021
Article number431
ISBN (Electronic)9781450380966
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Online, Japan
Duration: 8 May 202113 May 2021


ConferenceCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

    Research areas

  • Convergent thinking, Creativity, Creativity support tools, Divergent thinking

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 220952428