Keynote – Prof. Neil Maiden

Prof. Neil Maiden

Intertwining Creative and Design Thinking Processes for Software Products


Most software development processes still pay little attention to creativity and creative thinking, even though creative outcomes are pre-requisites for downstream innovation. The recent interest in design thinking methods places shifts the focus to both software products and processes, but still does not address the creativity deficit of most design thinking practices. This keynote proposes an alternative and more effective framing of design thinking – as situated uses of creativity techniques and design artefacts, opportunistically, in agile development processes. It will introduce the role of design thinking as creative thinking for specific ends. It will summarise common characteristics of high-performance design behaviours – behaviours that are often impeded by software development methods. It will then demonstrate, with multiple examples, how coupling creativity techniques with playful artefacts for design thinking can lead to original design outcomes, often more productively, than with existing software development processes and models.

Neil Maiden is Professor of Digital Creativity at the Cass Business School of City University London, where he teaches creativity and design thinking to MBA and Masters-level students. He is and has been a principal and co-investigator on numerous EPSRC- and EU-funded research projects with a total value of €35million. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers in academic journals, conferences and workshops proceedings. He was Program Chair for the 12th IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering in Kyoto in 2004, and is Editor of the IEEE Software’s Requirements column from 2005-2013. His details are available at

Access to the Keynote slides