Creativity, one of the important abilities of industrial designers, can help with designing and realizing innovative products. Today, industrial designs require group collaboration as well. To stimulate group creativity effectively is an important issue in promoting the innovation of products. Both the 635 brainstorming method and the C-Sketch method are popular team-based divergent thinking techniques. The former uses words while the latter uses pictures as a way to stimulate group creativity. This study fuses the 635 brainstorming method and the C-Sketch method by alternatingly passing pictures and words in the divergent thinking phase to help group designers with stimulating and integrating their ideas from different aspects for developing innovative products. To help industrial designer groups collaborating to design innovative products, this study develops an online collaborative design system that could support several divergent thinking methods, including the hybrid technique proposed in this study. To evaluate the feasibility of this hybrid technique, this study conducts two experiments. For the results in the first experiment, using the proposed method, the originality and the elaboration of group creativity score significantly higher than that using the 635 brainstorming method, but the fluency and the flexibility do not. In the second experiment, using the proposed method, the originality and the elaboration of group creativity score significantly higher than that using the C-Sketch method, but the flexibility does not. Nevertheless, the C-Sketch method performs significantly better in the fluency of group creativity than that of the proposed method. The proposed method scores significantly higher than the 635 brainstorming method and the C-Sketch method do in improving designers’ creative thinking. Nevertheless, the measurements of the performances on the final products yield no significant differences between the proposed method and the 635 brainstorming method or the C-Sketch method.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes