Saul Greenberg - Enhancing Creativity with Toolkits

Interface toolkits in ordinary application areas let average programmers rapidly develop software resembling other standard applications. In contrast, toolkits for novel and perhaps unfamiliar application areas enhance the creativity of these programmers. By removing low-level implementation burdens and supplying appropriate building blocks, toolkits give people a ‘language’ to think about these new interfaces, which in turn allows them to concentrate on creative designs. This is important, for it means that programmers can rapidly generate and test new ideas, replicate and refine ideas, and create demonstrations for others to try. To illustrate this important link between toolkits and creativity, I describe example toolkits we have built and how people have leveraged them to create innovative interfaces.