Design thinking is an iterative, human-centered approach to innovation. Its success rests on collaboration within a multidisciplinary project team going through cycles of divergent and convergent ideations. In these teams, nondesigners risk diminishing the divergent reach because they are generally reluctant to sketch, thus missing out on theambiguous, imprecise early conceptual divergent phases. We hypothesized that LEGO^(®) could advantageously be a substitute to sketching. In this comparative study, 44 nondesigners randomly paired in 22 dyads did two conceptual ideations of healthcare landing pages, one using pen/paper (spontaneously writing words on sticky notes) and the other using LEGO, assessed through Torrance and Guilford frameworks for divergent thinking. Results show that LEGO interfaces gathered significantly higher divergent thinking scores because their concepts were significantly more elaborated. Furthermore, when using LEGO, teams who generated more elements were likely to also generate more ideas, more categories of ideas and more original ideas.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems