Schaeffer's Charades: Comparing Creative Performance with Visuals versus Sounds

Schaeffer's Charades is an online creativity test. It allows you to test your own creative performance in two different domains: working with visuals versus sounds.

You can try it out HERE.


What is this project about?

A well-known motto in Design Thinking is “BE VISUAL”. Working with visuals is assumed to facilitate creativity and innovation. Yet, little respective research exists. How exactly does the use of a particular medium (such as working with visuals, sounds, or written language) impact creative performance? Might it be the case that one person is very creative using visuals, while another person is more creative with sounds? What is the impact of experience and training? With Schaeffer’ Charades, we can start filling the research gap.

Schaeffer’s Charades is an online game. It permits a direct comparison of how creative people are when they work with either sounds or visuals. As in the popular game “charades”, participants are asked to convey concepts, such as “wedding”, “lecture” or “walk in the woods”. In Schaeffer’s Charades, participants do so by staging little movies, placing and moving either visuals or sounds in a 2D space.

To assess the participants’ creativity, we monitor the average differentness of story elements people chose in the visual versus sonic condition, using the C-Tracer software. We also track whether audiences guess concepts successfully based on the participants’ movies.

Schaeffer's Charades is developed by Luca Hilbrich, Philipp Steigerwald and Tim Strauch.

Visuals in the game are designed by Ilia Berg.

Below you see two work benches for people to design their concept movies, using either sounds (figure 1) or visuals (figure 2).


Figure 1: Audio Game using binaural placement of sound objects.
Figure 2: Visual Game using pictograms in a two dimensional space.