Supporting Creativity Within Web-based Self-services
Elizabeth Mara Gerber, Caitlin Kennedy Martin


Web-based customization self-services encourage consumers to co-develop products, heightening expectations that anyone can engage in creative work. Yet personal creative ability and experience may vary greatly. This research examines how Web-based customization self-services may be designed to better support a customer’s experience and performance with the service and suggest that designers of online customization systems consider and apply such an approach. Drawing from psychological and human computer interaction research concerned with motivating and sustaining creativity, and investigating popular online examples, we formalize a set of design principles to support customer creativity within Web-based customization self-services including: providing an optimal challenge, autonomy, community, encouragement, and resources, giving permission to take risks, facilitating goal setting, supporting positive affect, and encouraging mastery experiences. We close with a discussion of the broader implications of manufacturing companies transitioning into service providers and the possibilities of developing task-specific design principles for different types of Web-based services.

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