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Fifty years ago Spencer Silver at 3M invented a not-so-sticky reusable adhesive that enabled development of the Post-It® note. Since then, sticky notes have become the most commonly used design material, and their use is standard practice in a multitude of creativity techniques such as brainstorming, business model generation, and design thinking. Sticky Creativity: Post-it® Note Cognition, Computers, and Design brings together researchers from psychology, computer science, and design in order to understand why and how sticky notes are used, why they work well for creative activities, and whether sticky notes are replaceable or improvable by a digital counterpart.
The book begins with the history and affordances of sticky notes and their varied use in organizational life. Three multi-chapter sections then cover psychology, computers, and design respectively. From a psychological perspective, cognitive and socio-cognitive theories are used to explain the functions sticky notes serve in idea generation and creative collaboration. The following section present the findings from three very different computerized instantiations of sticky notes, and discuss the challenges and opportunities when trying to digitize the sticky notes. The design section focusses on the sticky note as design practice in a variety of contexts from professional design to educational settings and art.