Creative Problem Solving

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What is Creative Problem Solving?

Creative problem solving (CPS) is a process that design teams use to generate ideas and solutions in their work. Designers and design teams apply an approach where they clarify a problem to understand it, ideate to generate good solutions, develop the most promising one, and implement it to create a successful solution for their brand’s users.  

An illustration of a tilted square showing a process in motion with Clarify, Ideate, Develop and Implement shown on it.

© Creative Education Foundation, Fair Use

Why is Creative Problem Solving in UX Design Important?

Creative thinking and problem solving are core parts of user experience (UX) design. Note: the abbreviation “CPS” can also refer to cyber-physical systems. Creative problem solving might sound somewhat generic or broad. However, it’s an ideation approach that’s extremely useful across many industries.  

Not strictly a UX design-related approach, creative problem solving has its roots in psychology and education. Alex Osborn—who founded the Creative Education Foundation and devised brainstorming techniques—produced this approach to creative thinking in the 1940s. Along with Sid Parnes, he developed the Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem Solving Process. It was a new, systematic approach to problem solving and creativity fostering.  

Diagram of CPS process showing Fact finding, Idea finding and Solution finding with 12 sub-sections.

Osborn’s CPS Process.

© IdeaSandbox.com, Fair Use

The main focus of the creative problem solving model is to improve creative thinking and generate novel solutions to problems. An important distinction exists between it and a UX design process such as design thinking. It’s that designers consider user needs in creative problem solving techniques, but they don’t necessarily have to make their users’ needs the primary focus. For example, a design team might trigger totally novel ideas from random stimuli—as opposed to working systematically from the initial stages of empathizing with their users. Even so, creative problem solving methods still tend to follow a process with structured stages. 

What are 4 Stages of Creative Problem Solving?

The model, adapted from Osborn’s original, typically features these steps:  

  1. Clarify: Design teams first explore the area they want to find a solution within. They work to spot the challenge, problem or even goal they want to identify. They also start to collect data or information about it. It’s vital to understand the exact nature of the problem at this stage. So, design teams must build a clear picture of the issue they seek to tackle creatively. When they define the problem like this, they can start to question it with potential solutions.  

  1. Ideate: Now that the team has a grasp of the problem that faces them, they can start to work to come up with potential solutions. They think divergently in brainstorming sessions and other ways to solve problems creatively, and approach the problem from as many angles as they can.  

  1. Develop: Once the team has explored the potential solutions, they evaluate these and find the strongest and weakest qualities in each. Then, they commit to the one they decide is the best option for the problem at hand.  

  1. Implement: Once the team has decided on the best fit for what they want to use, they discuss how to put this solution into action. They gauge its acceptability for stakeholders. Plus, they develop an accurate understanding of the activities and resources necessary to see it become a real, bankable solution.  

What Else does CPS Involve?

A diagram showing Divergent and Convergent thinking as a process between a problem and solution.

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Two keys to the enterprise of creative problem solving are:  

Divergent Thinking

This is an ideation mode which designers leverage to widen their design space when they start to search for potential solutions. They generate as many new ideas as possible using various methods. For example, team members might use brainstorming or bad ideas to explore the vast area of possibilities. To think divergently means to go for:  

  • Quantity over quality: Teams generate ideas without fear of judgment (critically evaluating these ideas comes later). 

  • Novel ideas: Teams use disruptive and lateral thinking to break away from linear thinking and strive for truly original and extraordinary ideas.  

  • Choice creation: The freedom to explore the design space helps teams maximize their options, not only regarding potential solutions but also about how they understand the problem itself.  

Author and Human-Computer Interactivity Expert, Professor Alan Dix explains some techniques that are helpful for divergent thinking:  

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Convergent Thinking

This is the complementary half of the equation. In this ideation mode, designers analyze, filter, evaluate, clarify and modify the ideas they generated during divergent thinking. They use analytical, vertical and linear thinking to isolate novel and useful ideas, understand the design space possibilities and get nearer to potential solutions that will work best. The purpose with convergent thinking is to carefully and creatively:  

  • Look past logical norms (which people use in everyday critical thinking). 

  • Examine how an idea stands in relation to the problem.  

  • Understand the real dimensions of that problem.    

Professor Alan Dix explains convergent thinking in this video:  

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What are the Benefits of Creative Problem Solving?

Design teams especially can benefit from this creative approach to problem solving because it:  

  • Empowers teams to arrive at a fine-grained definition of the problem they need to ideate over in a given situation.  

  • Gives a structured, learnable way to conduct problem-solving activities and direct them towards the most fruitful outcomes.  

  • Involves numerous techniques such as brainstorming and SCAMPER, so teams have more chances to explore the problem space more thoroughly.  

  • Can lead to large numbers of possible solutions thanks to a dedicated balance of divergent and convergent thinking.  

  • Values and nurtures designers and teams to create innovative design solutions in an accepting, respectful atmosphere.  

  • Is a collaborative approach that enables multiple participants to contribute—which makes for a positive environment with buy-in from those who participate.  

  • Enables teams to work out the most optimal solution available and examine all angles carefully before they put it into action.  

  • Is applicable in various contexts—such as business, arts and education—as well as in many areas of life in general.  

It’s especially crucial to see the value of creative problem solving in how it promotes out-of-the-box thinking as one of the valuable ingredients for teams to leverage.   

Watch as Professor Alan Dix explains how to think outside the box:  

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How to Conduct Creative Problem Solving Best?

It’s important to point out that designers should consider—and stick to—some best practices when it comes to applying creative problem solving techniques. They should also adhere to some “house rules,” which the facilitator should define in no uncertain terms at the start of each session. So, designers and design teams should:  

  1. Define the chief goal of the problem-solving activity: Everyone involved should be on the same page regarding their objective and what they want to achieve, why it’s essential to do it and how it aligns with the values of the brand. For example, SWOT analysis can help with this. Clarity is vital in this early stage.  Before team members can hope to work on ideating for potential solutions, they must recognize and clearly identify what the problem to tackle is.  

  1. Have access to accurate information: A design team must be up to date with the realities that their brand faces, realities that their users and customers face, as well as what’s going on in the industry and facts about their competitors. A team must work to determine what the desired outcome is, as well as what the stakeholders’ needs and wants are. Another factor to consider in detail is what the benefits and risks of addressing a scenario or problem are—including the pros and cons that stakeholders and users would face if team members direct their attention on a particular area or problem.   

  1. Suspend judgment: This is particularly important for two main reasons. For one, participants can challenge assumptions that might be blocking healthy ideation when they suggest ideas or elements of ideas that would otherwise seem of little value through a “traditional” lens. Second, if everyone’s free to suggest ideas without constraints, it promotes a calmer environment of acceptance—and so team members will be more likely to ideate better. Judgment will come later, in convergent thinking when the team works to tighten the net around the most effective solution. So, everyone should keep to positive language and encourage improvisational tactics—such as “yes…and”—so ideas can develop well.  

  1. Balance divergent and convergent thinking: It’s important to know the difference between the two styles of thinking and when to practice them. This is why in a session like brainstorming, a facilitator must take control of proceedings and ensure the team engages in distinct divergent and convergent thinking sessions.  

  1. Approach problems as questions: For example, “How Might We” questions can prompt team members to generate a great deal of ideas. That’s because they’re open-ended—as opposed to questions with “yes” or “no” answers. When a team frames a problem so freely, it permits them to explore far into the problem space so they can find the edges of the real matter at hand.  

An illustration showing the How Might We Formula with an example.

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

UX Strategist and Consultant, William Hudson explains “How Might We” questions in this video:  

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  1. Use a variety of ideation methods: For example, in the divergent stage, teams can apply methods such as random metaphors or bad ideas to venture into a vast expanse of uncharted territory. With random metaphors, a team prompts innovation by drawing creative associations. With bad ideas, the point is to come up with ideas that are weird, wild and outrageous, as team members can then determine if valuable points exist in the idea—or a “bad” idea might even expose flaws in conventional ways of seeing problems and situations.  

Professor Alan Dix explains important points about bad ideas:  

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What Special Considerations Should Designers Have for CPS?

Creative problem solving isn’t the only process design teams consider when thinking of potential risks. Teams that involve themselves in ideation sessions can run into problems, especially if they aren’t aware of them. Here are the main areas to watch:  

Bias

Bias is natural and human. Unfortunately, it can get in the way of user research and prevent a team from being truly creative and innovative. What’s more, it can utterly hinder the iterative process that should drive creative ideas to the best destinations. Bias takes many forms. It can rear its head without a design team member even realizing it. So, it’s vital to remember this and check it. One team member may examine an angle of the problem at hand and unconsciously view it through a lens. Then, they might voice a suggestion without realizing how they might have framed it for team members to hear. Another risk is that other team members might, for example, apply confirmation bias and overlook important points about potential solutions because they’re not in line with what they’re looking for.  

Professor Alan Dix explains bias and fixation as obstacles in creative problem solving examples, and how to overcome them:  

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Conventionalism

Even in the most hopeful ideation sessions, there’s the risk that some team members may slide back to conventional ways to address a problem. They might climb back inside “the box” and not even realize it. That’s why it’s important to mindfully explore new idea territories around the situation under scrutiny and not merely toy with the notion while clinging to a default “traditional” approach, just because it’s the way the brand or others have “always done things.”   

Dominant Personalities and Rank Pulling

As with any group discussion, it’s vital for the facilitator to ensure that everyone has the chance to contribute. Team members with “louder” personalities can dominate the discussions and keep quieter members from offering their thoughts. Plus, without a level playing field, it can be hard for more junior members to join in without feeling a sense of talking out of place or even a fear of reprisal for disagreeing with senior members.  

Another point is that ideation sessions naturally involve asking many questions, which can bring on two issues. First, some individuals may over-defend their ideas as they’re protective of them. Second, team members may feel self-conscious as they might think if they ask many questions that it makes them appear frivolous or unintelligent. So, it’s vital for facilitators to ensure that all team members can speak up and ask away, both in divergent thinking sessions when they can offer ideas and convergent thinking sessions when they analyze others’ ideas.  

Premature Commitment

Another potential risk to any creativity exercise is that once a team senses a solution is the “best” one, everyone can start to shut off and overlook the chance that an alternative may still arise. This could be a symptom of ideation fatigue or a false consensus that a proposed solution is infallible. So, it’s vital that team members keep open minds and try to catch potential issues with the best-looking solution as early as possible. The key is an understanding of the need for iteration—something that’s integral to the design thinking process, for example.   

A diagram of the 5-stage Design Thinking Process.

© Interaction Design Foundation, CC BY-SA 4.0

Overall, creative problem solving can help give a design team the altitude—and attitude—they need to explore the problem and solution spaces thoroughly. Team members can leverage a range of techniques to trawl through the hordes of possibilities that exist for virtually any design scenario. As with any method or tool, though, it takes mindful application and awareness of potential hazards to wield it properly. The most effective creative problem-solving sessions will be ones that keep “creative,” “problem” and “solving” in sharp focus until what emerges for the target audience proves to be more than the sum of these parts.  

Learn More About Creative Problem Solving

Take our course, Creativity: Methods to Design Better Products and Services

Watch our Master Class Harness Your Creativity To Design Better Products with Alan Dix, Professor, Author and Creativity Expert. 

Read our piece, 10 Simple Ideas to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Go to Exploring the Art of Innovation: Design Thinking vs. Creative Problem Solving by Marcino Waas for further details. 

Consult Creative Problem Solving by Harrison Stamell for more insights.  

Read The Osborn Parnes Creative Problem-Solving Process by Leigh Espy for additional information.  

See History of the creative problem-solving process by Jo North for more on the history of Creative Problem Solving. 

Questions about Creative Problem Solving

How do I identify the right problem to solve creatively?

To start with, work to understand the user’s needs and pain points. Do your user research—interviews, surveys and observations are helpful, for instance. Analyze this data so you can spot patterns and insights. Define the problem clearly—and it needs to be extremely clear for the solution to be able to address it—and make sure it lines up with the users’ goals and your project’s objectives. 

You and your design team might hold a brainstorming session. It could be a variation such as brainwalking—where you move about the room ideating—or brainwriting, where you write down ideas. Alternatively, you could try generating weird and wonderful notions in a bad ideas ideation session. 

There’s a wealth of techniques you can use. In any case, engage stakeholders in brainstorming sessions to bring different perspectives on board the team’s trains of thought. What’s more, you can use tools like a Problem Statement Template to articulate the problem concisely. 

Take our course, Creativity: Methods to Design Better Products and Services

Watch as Author and Human-Computer Interaction Expert, Professor Alan Dix explains important points about bad ideas:  

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How can I overcome mental blocks in creative problem solving?

Some things you might try are: 
1. Change your environment: A new setting can stimulate fresh ideas. So, take a walk, visit a different room, or work outside. 

2. Try to break the problem down into smaller parts: Focus on just one piece at a time—that should make the task far less overwhelming. Use techniques like mind mapping so you can start to visualize connections and come up with ideas. 

3. Step away from work and indulge in activities that relax your mind: Is it listening to music for you? Or how about drawing? Or exercising? Whatever it is, if you break out of your routine and get into a relaxation groove, it can spark new thoughts and perspectives. 

4. Collaborate with others: Discuss the problem with colleagues, stakeholders, or—as long as you don’t divulge sensitive information or company secrets—friends. It can help you to get different viewpoints, and sometimes those new angles and fresh perspectives can help unlock a solution. 

5. Set aside dedicated time for creative thinking: Take time to get intense with creativity; prevent distractions and just immerse yourself in the problem as fully as you can with your team. Use techniques like brainstorming or the "Six Thinking Hats" to travel around the problem space and explore a wealth of angles. 

Remember, a persistent spirit and an open mind are key; so, keep experimenting with different approaches until you get that breakthrough. 

Watch as Professor Alan Dix explains important aspects of creativity and how to handle creative blocks: 

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Read our piece, 10 Simple Ideas to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Watch as Professor Alan Dix explains the Six Thinking Hats ideation technique. 

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What is the difference between creative and critical thinking in problem solving?

Creative thinking is about coming up with new and innovative ideas by looking at problems from different angles—and imagining solutions that are truly fresh and unique. It takes an emphasis on divergent thinking to get “out there” and be original in the problem space. You can use techniques like brainstorming, mind mapping and free association to explore hordes of possibilities, many of which might be “hiding” in obscure corners of your—or someone on your team’s—imagination. 

Critical thinking is at the other end of the scale. It’s the convergent half of the divergent-convergent thinking approach. In that approach, once the ideation team have hauled in a good catch of ideas, it’s time for team members to analyze and evaluate these ideas to see how valid and effective each is. Everyone strives to consider the evidence, draw logical connections and eliminate any biases that could be creeping in to cloud judgments. Accuracy, sifting and refining are watchwords here. 

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Watch as Professor Alan Dix explains divergent and convergent thinking: 

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What tools can I use for creative problem solving in design?

The tools you can use are in no short supply, and they’re readily available and inexpensive, too. Here are a few examples: 

Tools like mind maps are great ways to help you visualize ideas and make connections between them and elements within them. Try sketching out your thoughts and see how they relate to each other—you might discover unexpected gems, or germs of an idea that can splinter into something better, with more thought and development. 

The SCAMPER technique is another one you can try. It can help you catapult your mind into a new idea space as you Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse aspects of the problem you’re considering. 

The “5 Whys” technique is a good one to drill down to root causes with. Once you’ve spotted a problem, you can start working your way back to see what’s behind it. Then you do the same to work back to the cause of the cause. Keep going; usually five times will be enough to see what started the other problems as the root cause. 

Watch as the Father of UX Design, Don Norman explains the 5 Whys technique: 

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Read all about SCAMPER in our topic definition of it. 

What are some common obstacles to creative problem solving?

It’s natural for some things to get in the way of being creative in the face of a problem. It can be challenging enough to ideate creatively on your own, but it’s especially the case in group settings. Here are some common obstacles: 

1. Fear of failure or appearing “silly”: when people worry about making mistakes or sounding silly, they avoid taking risks and exploring new ideas. This fear stifles creativity. That’s why ideation sessions like bad ideas are so valuable—it turns this fear on its head. 

2. Rigid thinking: This can also raise itself as a high and thick barrier. If someone in an ideation session clings to established ways to approach problems (and potential solutions), it can hamper their ability to see different perspectives, let alone agree with them. They might even comment critically to dampen what might just be the brightest way forward. It takes an open mind and an awareness of one’s own bias to overcome this. 

3. Time pressure and resource scarcity: When a team has tight deadlines to work to, they may rush to the first workable solution and ignore a wide range of possibilities where the true best solution might be hiding. That’s why stakeholders and managers should give everyone enough time—as well as any needed tools, materials and support—to ideate and experiment. The best solution is in everybody’s interest, after all.  

Read our piece, 10 Simple Ideas to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

Watch as Professor Alan Dix explains important aspects of creativity and how to handle creative blocks: 

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How can I create a conducive environment for creative problem solving?

It takes a few ingredients to get the environment just right for creative problem solving:  

  1. Get in the mood for creativity: This could be a relaxing activity before you start your session, or a warm-up activity in the room. Then, later, encourage short breaks—they can rejuvenate the mind and help bring on fresh insights.  

  1. Get the physical environment just right for creating problem solving: You and your team will want a comfortable and flexible workspace—preferably away from your workstations. Make sure the room is one where people can collaborate easily and also where they can work quietly. A meeting room is good as it will typically have room for whiteboards and comfortable space for group discussion. Note: you’ll also need sticky notes and other art supplies like markers. 

  1. Make the atmosphere conducive for creative problem solving: Someone will need to play facilitator so everyone has some ground rules to work with. Encourage everyone to share ideas, that all ideas are valuable, and that egos and seniority have no place in the room. Of course, this may take some enforcement and repetition—especially as "louder" team members may try to dominate proceedings, anyway, and others may be self-conscious about sounding "ridiculous." 

  1. Make sure you’ve got a diverse team: Diversity means different perspectives, which means richer and more innovative solutions can turn up. So, try to include individuals with different backgrounds, skills and viewpoints—sometimes, non-technical mindsets can spot ideas and points in a technical realm, which experienced programmers might miss, for instance. 

Watch our Master Class Harness Your Creativity To Design Better Products with Alan Dix, Professor, Author and Creativity Expert. 

Ideating alone? Watch as Professor Alan Dix gives valuable tips about how to nurture creativity: 

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What is the role of research in creative problem solving?

Research plays a crucial role in any kind of creative problem solving, and in creative problem solving itself it’s about collecting information about the problem—and, by association, the users themselves. You and your team members need to have a well-defined grasp of what you’re facing before you can start reaching out into the wide expanses of the idea space.  

Research helps you lay down a foundation of knowledge and avoid reinventing the wheel. Also, if you study existing solutions and industry trends, you’ll be able to understand what has worked before and what hasn't.  

What’s more, research is what will validate the ideas that come out of your ideation efforts. From testing concepts and prototypes with real users, you’ll get precious input about your creative solutions so you can fine-tune them to be innovative and practical—and give users what they want in a way that’s fresh and successful. 

Take our course, Creativity: Methods to Design Better Products and Services

Watch as UX Strategist and Consultant, William Hudson explains important points about user research: 

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How do I handle criticism of my creative solutions?

First, it’s crucial for a facilitator to make sure the divergent stage of the creative problem solving is over and your team is on to the convergent stage. Only then should any analysis happen.  

If others are being critical of your creative solutions, listen carefully and stay open-minded. Look on it as a chance to improve, and don’t take it personally. Indeed, the session facilitator should moderate to make sure everyone understands the nature of constructive criticism.  

If something’s unclear, be sure to ask the team member to be more specific, so you can understand their points clearly. 

Then, reflect on what you’ve heard. Is it valid? Something you can improve or explain? For example, in a bad ideas session, there may be an aspect of your idea that you can develop among the “bad” parts surrounding it. 

So, if you can, clarify any misunderstandings and explain your thought process. Just stay positive and calm and explain things to your critic and other team member. The insights you’ve picked up may strengthen your solution and help to refine it. 

Last—but not least—make sure you hear multiple perspectives. When you hear from different team members, chances are you’ll get a balanced view. It can also help you spot common themes and actionable improvements you might make. 

Take our course, Creativity: Methods to Design Better Products and Services

Watch as Todd Zaki Warfel, Author, Speaker and Leadership Coach, explains how to present design ideas to clients, a valuable skill in light of discussing feedback from stakeholders. 

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What is lateral thinking, and how does it relate to creative problem solving?

Lateral thinking is a technique where you approach problems from new and unexpected angles. It encourages you to put aside conventional step-by-step logic and get “out there” to explore creative and unorthodox solutions. Author, physician and commentator Edward de Bono developed lateral thinking as a way to help break free from traditional patterns of thought. 

In creative problem solving, you can use lateral thinking to come up with truly innovative ideas—ones that standard logical processes might overlook. It’s about bypassing these so you can challenge assumptions and explore alternatives that point you and your team to breakthrough solutions. 

You can use techniques like brainstorming to apply lateral thinking and access ideas that are truly “outside the box” and what your team, your brand and your target audience really need to work on. 

Professor Alan Dix explains lateral thinking in this video: 

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Take our course, Creativity: Methods to Design Better Products and Services

What are highly cited scientific articles about creative problem solving?

1. Baer, J. (2012). Domain Specificity and The Limits of Creativity Theory. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 46(1), 16–29.  
John Baer's influential paper challenged the notion of a domain-general theory of creativity and argued for the importance of considering domain-specific factors in creative problem solving. This work has been highly influential in shaping the understanding of creativity as a domain-specific phenomenon and has implications for the assessment and development of creativity in various domains. 

2. Runco, M. A., & Jaeger, G. J. (2012). The Standard Definition of Creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 24(1), 92–96.  
Mark A. Runco and Gerard J. Jaeger's paper proposed a standard definition of creativity, which has been widely adopted in the field. They defined creativity as the production of original and effective ideas, products, or solutions that are appropriate to the task at hand. This definition has been influential in providing a common framework for creativity research and assessment. 

What are some highly regarded books about creative problem solving?

1. Fogler, H. S., LeBlanc, S. E., & Rizzo, B. (2014). Strategies for Creative Problem Solving (3rd ed.). Prentice Hall. 

This book focuses on developing creative problem-solving strategies, particularly in engineering and technical contexts. It introduces various heuristic problem-solving techniques, optimization methods, and design thinking principles. The authors provide a systematic framework for approaching ill-defined problems, generating and implementing solutions, and evaluating the outcomes. With its practical exercises and real-world examples, this book has been influential in equipping professionals and students with the skills to tackle complex challenges creatively. 

 

2. De Bono, E. (1985). Six Thinking Hats. Little, Brown and Company.   

Edward de Bono's Six Thinking Hats introduces a powerful technique for parallel thinking and decision-making. The book outlines six different "hats" or perspectives that individuals can adopt to approach a problem or situation from various angles. This structured approach encourages creative problem-solving by separating different modes of thinking, such as emotional, logical, and creative perspectives. De Bono's work has been highly influential in promoting lateral thinking and providing a practical framework for group problem solving. 

 

3. Osborn, A. F. (1963). Applied Imagination: Principles and Procedures of Creative Problem-Solving (3rd ed.). Charles Scribner's Sons.  

Alex F. Osborn's Applied Imagination is a pioneering work that introduced the concept of brainstorming and other creative problem-solving techniques. Osborn emphasized how important it is to defer judgment and generate a large quantity of ideas before evaluating them. This book laid the groundwork for many subsequent developments in the field of creative problem-solving, and it’s been influential in promoting the use of structured ideation processes in various domains. 

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Literature on Creative Problem Solving

Here’s the entire UX literature on Creative Problem Solving by the Interaction Design Foundation, collated in one place:

Learn more about Creative Problem Solving

Take a deep dive into Creative Problem Solving with our course Creativity: Methods to Design Better Products and Services .

The overall goal of this course is to help you design better products, services and experiences by helping you and your team develop innovative and useful solutions. You’ll learn a human-focused, creative design process.

We’re going to show you what creativity is as well as a wealth of ideation methods―both for generating new ideas and for developing your ideas further. You’ll learn skills and step-by-step methods you can use throughout the entire creative process. We’ll supply you with lots of templates and guides so by the end of the course you’ll have lots of hands-on methods you can use for your and your team’s ideation sessions. You’re also going to learn how to plan and time-manage a creative process effectively.

Most of us need to be creative in our work regardless of if we design user interfaces, write content for a website, work out appropriate workflows for an organization or program new algorithms for system backend. However, we all get those times when the creative step, which we so desperately need, simply does not come. That can seem scary—but trust us when we say that anyone can learn how to be creative­ on demand. This course will teach you ways to break the impasse of the empty page. We'll teach you methods which will help you find novel and useful solutions to a particular problem, be it in interaction design, graphics, code or something completely different. It’s not a magic creativity machine, but when you learn to put yourself in this creative mental state, new and exciting things will happen.

In the “Build Your Portfolio: Ideation Project”, you’ll find a series of practical exercises which together form a complete ideation project so you can get your hands dirty right away. If you want to complete these optional exercises, you will get hands-on experience with the methods you learn and in the process you’ll create a case study for your portfolio which you can show your future employer or freelance customers.

Your instructor is Alan Dix. He’s a creativity expert, professor and co-author of the most popular and impactful textbook in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. Alan has worked with creativity for the last 30+ years, and he’ll teach you his favorite techniques as well as show you how to make room for creativity in your everyday work and life.

You earn a verifiable and industry-trusted Course Certificate once you’ve completed the course. You can highlight it on your resume, your LinkedIn profile or your website.

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