The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of Cognitive Factors (CF) on the Creative Abilities (CAs) in design. We set up a model of Cognitive Design Process (CDP), which consists of four domains: Concepts, Experience, Five Senses (FS), and Thinking Modes (TM). Here, experience is first perceived by the five senses, and then recognized by intelligence. We regard design as a transforming process from concept to experience. For this study, two major Sensory Modalities (Visual and Kinesthetic), four Thinking Modes (Brain Dominance Profile), and four Creative Abilities (Fluency, Flexibility, Originality, and Elaboration) were reviewed. We hypothesized that idea generation is influenced by different Sensory Modalities (Visual Sense vs. Kinesthetic Sense) and Thinking Modes, and that these have a close relationship with the attributes of CAs. Firstly, we have examined the cognitive thinking model in design. Then, we adapted the Test of Creative Abilities of Design Thinking (TCADT) for measuring CAs. We surveyed the CAs under CF in particular. Finally, we have investigated the influences of the different Sensory Modalities (Visual Sense vs. Kinesthetic Sense) on CAs. It was found that a close relationship between Brain Dominance and CAs, and Sensory Modalities (SM) have different influence on these creative abilities. As a result, a tool for the Test of CAs and a framework for creative idea generation with the effective CF will be presented. These provide the basis for a new approach to creative idea generation in Experience Design.
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