Individual designers demonstrate different styles of ideation in conceptual design. These styles have been quantified and described primarily through protocol, think-aloud studies that examine a designer’s thought sequence during ideation. In this paper, we examine ideation style with an outcome-based approach, examining style on a continuum of rate of variety, or solution space exploration rate. We investigate the relationship between this exploration rate and creativity factors of quality and novelty using a quantitative study of problem-solving skills. We found a significant positive correlation between broad-search style and novelty and a significant positive correlation between detail-search style and quality of ideas. These correlations are in agreement with protocol studies found in literature. We also identified quantity of ideas as a possible confounding factor and discuss potential improvements to these types of studies.

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