Abstract

Mind-mapping is useful for externalizing ideas and their relationships surrounding a central problem. However, balancing between the exploration of different aspects (breadth) of the problem with respect to the detailed exploration of each of its aspects (depth) can be challenging, especially for novices. The goal of this paper is to investigate the notion of “reflection-in-design” through a novel interactive digital mind-mapping workflow that we call “QCue”. The idea behind this workflow is to incorporate the notion of reflective thinking through two mechanisms: (1) offering suggestions to promote depth exploration through user's queries (Q), and (2) asking questions (Cue) to promote reflection for breadth exploration. This paper is an extension of our prior work where our focus was mainly on the algorithmic development and implementation of a cognitive support mechanism behind QCue enabled by ConceptNet (a graph-based rich ontology with “commonsense” knowledge). In this extended work, we first present a detailed summary of how QCue facilitated the breadth-depth balance in a mind-mapping task. Second, we present a comparison between QCue and conventional digital mind-mapping i.e. without our algorithm through a between-subjects user study. Third, we present new detailed analysis on the usage of different cognitive mechanisms provided by QCue. We further consolidate our prior quantitative analysis and build a connection with our observational analysis. Finally, we discuss in detail the different cognitive mechanisms provided by QCue to stimulate reflection in design.

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