Prototyping Dynamics: Sharing Multiple Designs Improves Exploration, Group Rapport, and Results

  • Steven P. Dow
  • Julie Fortuna
  • Dan Schwartz
  • Beth Altringer
  • Daniel L. Schwartz
  • Scott R. Klemmer
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


Prototypes ground group communication and facilitate decision making. However, overly investing in a single design idea can lead to fixation and impede the collaborative process. Does sharing multiple designs improve collaboration? In a study, participants created advertisements individually and then met with a partner. In the Share Multiple condition, participants designed and shared three ads. In the Share Best condition, participants designed three ads and selected one to share. In the Share One condition, participants designed and shared one ad. Sharing multiple designs improved outcome, exploration, sharing, and group rapport. These participants integrated more of their partner’s ideas into their own subsequent designs, explored a more divergent set of ideas, and provided more productive critiques of their partner’s designs. Furthermore, their ads were rated more highly and garnered a higher click-through rate when hosted online.


Group Discussion Individual Design Graphic Design Multiple Alternative Multiple Design 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Arkes HR, Blumer C (1985) The psychology of sunk cost. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 35(1):124–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aron A, Aron EN, Smollan D (1992) Inclusion of other in the self scale and the structure of interpersonal closeness. J Pers Soc Psychol 63(4):596–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aronson E, Bridgeman D, Geffner R (1978) Interdependent interactions and prosocial behavior. J Res Dev Educ 12(1):16–27Google Scholar
  4. Ball LJ, Ormerod TC (1995) Structured and opportunistic processing in design: a critical discussion. Int J Hum-Comput Stud 43(1):131–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bao P, Gerber E, Gergle D, Hoffman D (2010) Momentum: getting and staying on topic during a brainstorm. In: Proceedings of conference on human factors in computing systems, ACM, New York, pp 1233–1236Google Scholar
  6. Ben-David I, Graham JR, Harvey CR (2007) Managerial overconfidence and corporate policies. National Bureau of Economic Research working paper series no. 13711Google Scholar
  7. Brandt J, Dontcheva M, Weskamp M, Klemmer SR (2010) Example-centric programming: integrating web search into the development environment. In: Proceedings of conference on human factors in computing systems, ACM, New York, pp 513–522Google Scholar
  8. Brereton M, Cannon M, Mabogunje A, Leifer L, Brereton M, Cannon M, Mabogunje A, Leifer L (1996) Collaboration in design teams: how social interaction shapes the product. In: Analyzing design activity. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  9. Buxton B (2007) Sketching user experiences: getting the design right and the right design. Morgan Kaufmann, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  10. Cross N (2) Expertise in design: an overview. Des Stud 25(5):427–441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Curhan JR, Elfenbein HA, Xu H (2006) What do people value when they negotiate? Mapping the domain of subjective value in negotiation. J Pers Soc Psychol 91(3):493–512CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dannels DP, Martin KN (2008) Critiquing critiques: a genre analysis of feedback across novice to expert design studios. J Bus Tech Commun 22(2):135–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davidoff S, Lee MK, Dey AK, Zimmerman J (2007) Rapidly exploring application design through speed dating. In: Proceedings of conference on ubiquitous computing, InnsbruckGoogle Scholar
  14. Diehl M, Stroebe W (1987) Productivity loss in brainstorming groups: toward the solution of a riddle. J Pers Soc Psychol 53(3):497–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dow SP, Heddleston K, Klemmer SR (2009) The efficacy of prototyping under time constraints. In: Proceedings of ACM conference on creativity and cognition, ACM, New York, pp 165–174Google Scholar
  16. Dow S, Glassco A, Kass J, Schwarz M, Schwartz DL, Klemmer SR (2010) Parallel prototyping leads to better design results, more divergence, and increased self-efficacy. Trans Comput-Hum Int, Article 18, 17(4):24Google Scholar
  17. Dweck C (2007) Mindset: the new psychology of success. Ballantine Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Ericsson KA, Smith J (1991) Toward a general theory of expertise: prospects and limits. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  19. Fauconnier G, Turner M (2003) The way we think: conceptual blending and the mind’s hidden complexities. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Felps W, Mitchell T, Byington E (2006) How, when, and why bad apples spoil the barrel: negative group members and dysfunctional groups. Res Organ Behav 27:175–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Finke RA, Ward TB, Smith SM (1996) Creative cognition: theory, research, and applications. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  22. Gaver WW, Beaver J, Benford S (2003) Ambiguity as a resource for design. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems, ACM, New York, pp 233–240Google Scholar
  23. Gerber E (2010) Prototyping practice in context: the psychological experience in a high tech firm. J Des StudGoogle Scholar
  24. Hampton JA (1987) Inheritance of attributes in natural concept conjunctions. Mem Cognit 15(1):55–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hartmann B, Yu L, Allison A, Yang Y, Klemmer SR (2008) Design as exploration: creating interface alternatives through parallel authoring and runtime tuning. In: Proceedings of the conference on user interface software and technology, ACM, New York, pp 91–100Google Scholar
  26. Herzog SM, Hertwig R (2009) The wisdom of many in one mind. Psychol Sci 20(2):231–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hyland F, Hyland K (2001) Sugaring the pill: praise and criticism in written feedback. J Second Lang Writ 10(3):185–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Iyengar SS, Lepper MR (2000) When choice is demotivating: can one desire too much of a good thing? J Pers Soc Psychol 79(6):995–1006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Janis IL (1982) Groupthink: psychological studies of policy decisions and fiascoes. Wadsworth, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. Jansson D, Smith S (1991) Design fixation. Des Stud 12(1):3–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kershaw TC, Ohlsson S (2) Multiple causes of difficulty in insight: the case of the nine-dot problem. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 30(1):3–13Google Scholar
  32. Kohavi R, Longbotham R (2007) Online experiments: lessons learned. Computer 40:103–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kosara R (2007) Visualization criticism – the missing link between information visualization and art. In: Proceedings of the conference on information visualization. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, pp 631–636Google Scholar
  34. Larrick RP (2009) Broaden the decision frame to make effective decisions. In: Locke E (ed) Handbook of principles of organizational behavior. Wiley, Chichester, UKGoogle Scholar
  35. Lee B, Srivastava S, Kumar R, Brafman R, Klemmer SR (2010) Designing with interactive example galleries. In: Proceedings of the conference on human factors in computing systems, ACM, New York, pp 2257–2266Google Scholar
  36. Leifer L (2010) Dancing with ambiguity: design thinking in theory and practice.
  37. Mark G, Gonzalez VM, Harris J (2005) No task left behind?: examining the nature of fragmented work. In: Proceedings of the conference on Human factors in computing systems, Portland, pp 321–330Google Scholar
  38. Marsh RL, Landau JD, Hicks JL (1996) How examples may (and may not) constrain creativity. Mem Cognit 24(5):669–680CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Moran TP, Carroll JM (1996) Design rationale: concepts, techniques, and use. CRC Press, Mahwah, NJGoogle Scholar
  40. Nickerson RS (1998) Confirmation bias: a ubiquitous phenomenon in many guises. Rev Gen Psychol 2:175–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nielsen J, Faber JM (1996) Improving system usability through parallel design. Computer 29(2):29–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Ranganath R, Jurafsky D, McFarland D (2009) It’s not you, it’s me: detecting flirting and its misperception in speed-dates. In: Proceedings of conference on empirical methods in natural language processing, Association for Computational Linguistics, pp 334–342Google Scholar
  43. Schon DA (1995) The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Ashgate, AldershotGoogle Scholar
  44. Schrage M (1999) Serious play: how the world’s best companies simulate to innovate. Harvard Business School Press, BostonGoogle Scholar
  45. Schwartz DL (1995) The emergence of abstract representations in Dyad problem solving. J Learn Sci 4(3):321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schwartz B (2) The paradox of choice: why more is less. Ecco, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  47. Smith S (1993) Constraining effects of examples in a creative generation task. Mem Cognit 21:837–845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stroebe W, Diehl M (1994) Why groups are less effective than their members: on productivity losses in idea-generating groups. Eur Rev Soc Psychol 5:271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sutton R, Hargadon A (1996) Brainstorming groups in context: effectiveness in a product design firm. Adm Sci Q 41:685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Taylor D, Berry P, Block C (1958) Does group participation when using brainstorming facilitate or inhibit creative thinking? Adm Sci Q 3(1):23–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Thomke S, Nimgade A (2000) IDEO product development. Harvard Business School Case, BostonGoogle Scholar
  52. Thompson L, Gentner D, Loewenstein J (2000) Avoiding missed opportunities in managerial life: analogical training more powerful than individual case training. Organ Behav Hum Decis Process 82(1):60–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tohidi M, Buxton W, Baecker R, Sellen A (2006) Getting the right design and the design right. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems, ACM, New York, pp 1243–1252Google Scholar
  54. Warr A, O’Neill E (2005) Understanding design as a social creative process. In: Proceedings of the conference on creativity & cognition, ACM, New York, pp 118–127Google Scholar
  55. Wisniewski E, Gentner D (1991) On the combinatorial semantics of noun pairs: {minor} and major adjustments to meaning. In: Understanding word and sentence. North Holland, Amsterdam, pp 241–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zwicky F (1969) Discovery, invention, research through the morphological approach. MacMillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven P. Dow
    • 1
  • Julie Fortuna
    • 1
  • Dan Schwartz
    • 1
  • Beth Altringer
    • 2
  • Daniel L. Schwartz
    • 1
  • Scott R. Klemmer
    • 1
  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction GroupStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Harvard School of Engineering and Applied SciencesCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations