structured ideation and design thinking

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At the heart of a design thinking process is ideation, the capability for generating and relating ideas. Brainstorming is a frequently practiced form of ideation, and this presentation describes the four rules of classic brainstorming. It also gives guidance for how to structure brainstorm sessions to drive direct and indirect benefits.


  • 1. Structured Ideation and Design ThinkingGayle Curtis 8 December 2009

2. Ideation and design thinking Observe & UnderstandTake a Pointof ViewIdeate Prototype &Test Evaluate & IterateIdeation is the process of forming and relating ideasBayCHI Dec 09Source: Wikipedia 2 3. Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.Thomas Edison, inventor Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.Chuck Close, artist BayCHI Dec 09Sources: Wikiquote; Wisdom, by Andrew Zuckerman 3 4. Exercise Thirty Circles You have a sheet with 30 circles 1. When we say GO! Transform each circle into something recognizable, such as a ball, a planet, bicycle wheels, etc. 2. Its OK to draw outside the lines. 3. The goal: transform all 30 circles in TWO minutes. BayCHI Dec 09 4 5. Examples 9 differentExtra time ideas 21 circles Some combiningBayCHI Dec 095 6. Your experience? If < 30, why? Not clear about the rules Can circles be combined? How different should they be? Dont like deadlines Couldnt draw fast enough Not sure how much I wanted to get into this BayCHI Dec 096 7. Brainstorming Defined by Alex Osborn in 1939Storming a problem in a commando fashion Your Creative Power, 1949 Applied Imagination, 1953Took on a life of its own BBDO - Alex Osborn MIT Creative Engineering Lab - John Arnold Stanford Design Division - Bob McKim IDEO at Stanford and PotsdamBayCHI Dec 09 7 8. The Osborn Rules forBrainstormingBayCHI Dec 098 9. Osborn Rule #1DEFER JUDGEMENT Say Yes!BayCHI Dec 09 Source: Dor 9 10. Fifty phrases that kill creativity Our place is different Now's not the right time. It can't be done. We tried that before. It isn't in the budget. It's too much trouble to change. It costs too much. Can't teach an old dog new tricks. It won't pay for itself. That's not my job. Good thought, but impractical. It's impossible. They're too busy to do that. Let's give it more thought. I know a person who tried it and We don't have the time. We'll be the laughingstock of the got fired. Not enough help. industry. We've always done it this way. It's too radical a change. Not that again. We'd lose money in the long run. The staff will never buy it. Where'd you dig that one up? Don't rock the boat. It's against company policy. We did alright without it before. That's what we can expect from The union will scream. It's never been tried.the staff. That will run up our overhead. Let's put that one on the back burner Has anyone else ever tried it? We don't have the authority. for now. Let's look into it further. Let's get back to reality Let's form a committee. We'll have to answer to the That's not our problem. It won't work in our place. stockholders. I don't like the idea. The executive committee will never Quit dreaming. I'm not saying you're wrong but... go for it. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. You're two years ahead of your I don't see the connection. That's too much ivory tower.time. Let's all sleep on it. It's too much work.BayCHI Dec 09 Source: Daniel DuFour 10 11. Osborn Rule #2GO FOR QUANTITY Fluency and flexibilityBayCHI Dec 0911 12. We need both Fluency - Lots of ideas Flexibility - Lots of different ideas BayCHI Dec 09 12 13. The ebb and flow of ideasThe Idea Curve When the going gets tough, the tough get stupid BRILLIANTBORINGTIMEABSURD Dev Patnaik From The Ebb and Flow of Ideas, a Product Development - Best Practices Report, The Management Roundtable BayCHI Dec 09 Source: Dev Patnaik 13 14. Osborns checklist for transforming ideas Put to other uses?Magnify?Minify? Reverse? New ways to use as is? What to add? What to subtract? Transpose positive Other uses if modified? More time? Smaller?and negative? Greater frequency? Condensed? How about Adapt?opposites? Stronger? Miniature? What else is like this? Turn it backward? Higher? Lower? What other idea does this Turn it upside Longer? Shorter?suggest? down? Extra Value? Lighter? Does the past offer Reverse roles? Plus ingredient? Omit?parallel? Change shoes? Duplicate? Streamline? What could I copy? Turn tables? Multiply? Split up? Whom could I emulate? Turn other cheek? Exaggerate? Understate?Modify? Rearrange? Combine?Substitute? New twist? Interchange How about a blend, an Who else instead? Change meaning, color, components?alloy, an assortment, What else instead?motion, sound, odor, form, Other pattern?an ensemble? Other ingredient?shape? Other layout? Combine units? Other process? Other shapes? Other sequence? Combine purposes? Other place? Transpose cause Combine appeals? Other approach? and effect? Combine ideas? Other tone of voice? Change pace?BayCHI Dec 09 Source: Alex Osborn, Applied Imagination 14 15. Transformation cards BayCHI Dec 09Source: the MIT Creative Engineering Laboratory, ca 1956 Adapted from Osborns Applied Imagination 15 16. More strategies for getting ideas BayCHI Dec 09Source: Rolf Faste 16 17. Osborn Rule #3GETRADICALWILDWEIRDABSURDSTUPID Easier to tone down than pump upBayCHI Dec 09Source: Obey the Pure Breed 17 18. The idea curve revisitedIllustrative representation of idea count BRILLIANT BORINGTIME ABSURD Out of a hundred ideas, the first sixty ideas produced five that were actually new or different, the next twenty produced nothing but laughter, and ideas eighty to a hundred produced another ten that were amazing. Thankfully, we didnt give up when the well ran dry around idea number sixty. BayCHI Dec 09 Source: Adapted from Dev Patnaik, The Ebb and Flow of Ideas 18 19. Osborn Rule #4 LEAPFROGPiggy-back Build onLet goBayCHI Dec 09Source: Rolf Faste 19 20. Some other rules & tipsStay focused on topic And, for best results. Turn it around to something thatExplicitly agree relates Lets brainstorm!One conversation at a time Yeah! Let everyone get their idea out Facilitate Bring side discussions onto the table What else.?Headline itRecord Get the essence and move on Capture the ideas Maintain flow Time boxBe visual Define the play period Bring the right brain into playBayCHI Dec 09 20 21. A sample brainstorm Challenge: Some new ideas for waking up BayCHI Dec 09 Source: VizAbility 21 22. Structured Ideationin Product Development BayCHI Dec 09 22 23. Structured ideation sessions Stakeholders and crossfunctional teams Half-day to two-day sessions Format:1. Background briefing: users, context, goals, constraints2. Break into small groups (6-10) with facilitators3. Ideas on Postits; Postits on board4. 40-60 minutes facilitated brainstorm5. Cluster Postits on poster boards6. Participants pick promising ideas & form xfunc teams around those7. Each team develops a concept and story8. Stories presented to entire group BayCHI Dec 09 23 24. Framework for product scenariosUser Identify the user, based on the target user groupContext Describe context or situation in which the problemexistsProblem Describe an incident or condition that motivates theuse of the solutionSolution Show how they access and use the solution toaddress their needOutcome Describe the outcome of the situation - the payoff,the problem solved, the happy user BayCHI Dec 09 24 25. Innovation pipeline What happens next? Hottest ideas carried forth by champions With coaching, ideas are groomed by those teams Business case Technical requirements Implementation plan Presented to management for roadmap evaluation BayCHI Dec 0925 26. What other benefits? Brainstorming sessions have effect beyond the problem itself. People feel empowered when their ideas get heard Teams see a different way of relating to their project. They understand where ideas are coming from. People discover a different way of relating to each other. They have the experience of constructive collaboration. BayCHI Dec 09 26 27. Recap What we learn from ideation Defer judgment and entertain openness Go for quantity and multiply your options Get radical and explore the misfit, the absurd, the provisional Leapfrog and mashup the old/new, wild/tame, yours/others Whoosh! and maintain the flow BayCHI Dec 09 27 28. ReferencesOsborn, Alex, Your Creative Power, New York, New York: C. Scribners sons, 1949-- Your Creative Power [Abridged], Purdue University Press, 1999-- Applied Imagination: Principles and Procedures of Creative Problem Solving. New York, New York: C. Scribner's Sons. 1953Patnaik,Dev, Jump Associates, The Ebb and Flow of Ideation, in Product Development BestPractices Report (ISSN 1049-8400) 2001 The Management Roundtable, Inc. www.pdbpr.comWoolsey,K; Kim,S; Curtis,G; VizAbility, Course Technology, 2004 BayCHI Dec 09 28