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How Time Constraints in a Creativity Support Tool Affect the Creative Writing Experience

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Being able to write ‘on cue’ is critical in text-based, creative domains, since time is often a limited resource. Although numerous digital-interactive Creativity Support Tools (CSTs) are available, writing applications with features to support creative writing as a time-constrained activity have scarcely evolved since the 1960s. This is striking, since studies show that time constraints may benefit creativity. We present an exploratory survey-based, qualitative user experience study of how a writing application prototype designed to accel- erate text production by imposing time constraints affects a creative writing task among high school students (n=45). Using thematic analysis, we report how implicit and explicit time constraints built into the GUI (graphical user inter- face) influence how users experience time pressure and the quantity vs. quality, initiation, and revision of their creative writing process. We discuss how writing applications may develop to incorporate time constraints to support creative writing, as well as the need for increased tool literacy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECCE 2019: Proceedings of the 31st European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics : ''Design for Cognition''
EditorsM Mulvenna, R Bond
Number of pages8
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication yearSept 2019
ISBN (print)978-1-4503-7166-7
ISBN (Electronic)9781450371667
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
EventEuropean Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2019) - Ulster University, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Sept 201913 Sept 2019
Conference number: 31


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics (ECCE 2019)
LocationUlster University
LandUnited Kingdom

    Research areas

  • creative writing, creativity, creativity support tool (CST), time constraints, user experience

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