Creativity Information

The Elements of Creativity: Attributes Listing Method

Attribute listing is one of the best ways to generate ideas, whereby there any many parts to the problem/ challenge faced. If you are asked to generate ideas or solutions to a complex challenge, the first thing you can do is to list all the attributes of your problem.

These may include:

  • Physical

  • Mental

  • Emotional

  • Social

  • and more (depending on the complexity of the challenge)

By doing so, you can then concentrate on each attribute at a time. This will no doubt give you more peace of mind (and pulling of your hairs) when generating your ideas.

The attribute listing technique is often used in a Research & Development (R&D) department of many companies, especially those who are constantly producing innovative products to have an advantage over their competitors.

Let's go through this worked example to give you a better understanding of how attributes listing can be of help to you.

For example, if your challenge is to design a new ladies' handbag, you could list the attributes as: the physical aspects which include- shape, length, colour, materials used and on the emotional aspects-the stress some women faced of misplacing their handbags. You might choose to first tackle the emotional stress of losing one's handbag by creating a new small gadget to be placed within the handbag to sound the owner that she is moving too far away (maybe one or two metre away) from her 'treasure chest'. After that, you could work on the other attributes, one by one, be it the shape or materials used for the handbag.

Putting Your Elements to Work:

Try to generate oodles of ideas using attributes listing with these sets of challenges:

1. Design a new toy for children under 6 years old to teach them simple arithmetic. Safety is an important attribute.

2. Create a campaign to encourage people to stop smoking. (Think through the attributes: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Social)

3. Set up an effective marketing plan (there are many parts to a good marketing plan: the 4 P's - Product, Price, Place and Promotion) for your new products.

Have Fun!

About The Author

Dr. Alvin Chan is a Senior Research Consultant at First Quatermain Centre of Collaborative Innovation (

Please contact as a courtesy when reprinting the article online and/or offline.

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at

The Alexander City Outlook

Joint effort cultivates creativity
The Alexander City Outlook
There's a strong movement in Dadeville, and a group of enthusiastic visionaries plan to lead the town into a new era with a dual art initiative. Will York, with a long list of accomplishments in the art field, is teaming up with the newly formed ...

The Tribune

Chronicles of creativity & conflict
The Tribune
Salil Desai. With Nandita Das' directed biopic Manto garnering critical acclaim as well as audiences' appreciation, the focus has now shifted to Ludhiana's other famous son, Sahir Ludhianvi. Bollywood, taking a cue from the West, is going to pay ...

Madrid artisan shares her creativity by making decorative north country signs
MADRID — It took a long time for Megan “Meg” Bernier Keniston to find a hobby that both fueled her creativity and helped her de-stress from her full-time job as director of marketing at St. Lawrence University, Canton. But once the Watertown native ...

The Conversation UK

Creativity is a human quality that exists in every single one of us
The Conversation UK
When you think about creativity, it might be highly creative people like Mozart, da Vinci or Einstein who spring to mind. They were all considered to be “geniuses” for their somewhat unique talents that led to global innovation in their fields. Their ...

and more »


Data And Creativity: Living In Sin
Meanwhile, the czars of data have their own concerns: Is creativity superficial and the enemy of quantifiable measurable success? The answer to both is yes. That's because an overreliance on either data or creativity is the quickest path to failure ...

Long Beach Press Telegram

Sidewalks splashed with creativity at Belmont Shore's Chalk Art Contest
Long Beach Press Telegram
By Kat Schuster, contributing reporter. Those walking down the Second Street corridor on Saturday, Oct. 20, were immersed in a diverse gallery of kaleidoscopic chalk illustrations as Belmont Shore's Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest took to the streets for ...

and more »


How To Foster A Culture Of Creativity
A culture of creativity isn't about bringing together hipsters in pimped-up rooms with ping-pong tables. It is about creating safe spaces in which everyone can be heard, and ideas shared and implemented through solid leadership. If people always see ...

Why Sorrell says S4 Capital isn't actually snubbing creativity
Martin Sorrell — whose S4 Capital recently began listing on the London Stock Exchange — asserted Tuesday his new venture isn't snubbing creativity even though its stated focus is in other areas.

and more »


The human factor: harnessing creativity and innovation
Creativity has always been at the heart of human endeavours but in a time when information overload has become our daily reality, it can be hard to find the headspace for creative solutions. Sir Ken Robinson, appearing at the World Congress of ...

ETF Trends

Why China Is a New Nexus of Innovation and Creativity
ETF Trends
By Justin Leverenz and Bhavtosh Vajpayee via China's rise as a global technology powerhouse is becoming broadly acknowledged, but the scale, nuance, and innovation encapsulated in that rise does not enjoy the same recognition. Indeed, many in ...

Google News

home | site map | Ocean Art
© 2006