The creativity of common users is widely regarded as a valuable resource for design and innovation. Some authors even suggest that user activity is the primary source of innovation. Defining various kinds of creative use specifically has imposed upon the flexibility of the resource and its impact. In related design there are few unified terms or approaches for the phenomenon of creativity in use. This work presents a new broad definition for creative use based on related works and lexical interpretations, as a kind of prototyping for a need found in use. It then explores the implications of this broad interpretation based on surveys of common users and designers, a workshop with design students, and expert interviews with designers and IP lawyers. The resource creative use contributes is shown to become more widely valuable, more widely accepted, easier for designers to integrate, and more compatible with designers’ approaches to associated legal issues. Additionally, it is determined that non-creative workers can emulate design by integrating creative use in their practice and, in doing so, improve their understanding of the value of design. As a fundamental source of creativity, an appropriate definition for creative use is valuable for the design community to assess and research this resource.