Experiments in engineering design creativity have the general objective of increasing the understanding of the creative design process, for example, experiments on the use of brainstorming, or a new ideation method or software to increase idea generation. This type of experiments is most of the time difficult to perform. In general, the difficulty is derived from the nature of the experiment which involves human subjects in a creative process solving design problems. The subjects, creative process, method involved, and design problem, each brings an abundance of variables some of which are qualitative (e.g. subject’s personality). Based on the extensive experience running engineering design creativity experiments, the authors present a review of major issues related to the design of experiments (DOE) of engineering design creativity experiments. First, an overview of creativity experimentation is presented; this includes the identification of key elements: subject, design process, treatment, controls, output and environment. Second, an overview of the design of experiment (DOE) steps is presented: hypothesis, factors, responses, etc. Third, for each step in the DOE the authors identify typical issues related to engineering design creativity. Each issue is analyzed, referred to other experiments in the literature, and a series of practical recommendations are made. The scope of the paper is limited to engineering design creativity experiments, more specifically, when the assessment is performed on the outcome. Also, the focus is on the “conceptual model” (i.e. planning stage) of DOE. Future papers will focus on the execution of the experiment and the assessment process. The authors hope that these guidelines help designologists improve the relevance, significance, and accuracy of creativity experiments.

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