Idea Generation Activities

18 Mar 2009 - 2:22pm
5 years ago
6 replies
1762 reads
Alan Cox
2009

I'm thinking about leading some discussions to help my team and
company generate ideas about what sort of experience we want our
users to have when they interact with a new version of our software.

Have you ever participated in, or led, an activity that you found
really helpful in generating these ideas? I anticipate a group of
5-7 people working together for about 1 week to do this; I've got a
number of ideas already, but I am searching for more.

My ideas, still in an toddler stage, are:

1) Come up with two companies, similar to each other but different
from us. What attributes do they have in common, and how are they
different?

2) "Promise, Symbol, Proof" - For ten (or so) companies, come up
with what they're promising their customers, the mark that
symbolizes the promise, and the proof that shows they're meeting
their promise.

3) "What are we? and the rule of opposites" - Come up with
attributes that describe our product and our users' experience with
it. What are the opposites of those attributes, and what would
things be like if we switched to the opposite?

4) "Weird What-ifs" - Fill in the following sentence "What if we
were __________?" and then answer it. For instance, "What if we
were a religion?

I would love to hear what other types of activities you have found
successful.

(By the way, I haven't called this "brainstorming" because I
don't want to limit the responses.)

Comments

19 Mar 2009 - 8:48am
Jeremy Kriegel
2009

You have some very interesting examples. One thing I noticed is that
they all focus on your company or your competitors. If you want to
come up with good experiences for your users, then they should be
central to your discussions.

-Jeremy Kriegel
www.methodsansmadness.com

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19 Mar 2009 - 10:21am
Alan Cox
2009

I agree completely. Thanks for bringing light onto that omission. It
was something that was implicit in my thoughts, but not explicitly
written down.

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19 Mar 2009 - 12:57pm
Jeff Howard
2004

Hi Alan, I don't have a specific technique to suggest, but you might
browse through the conservatively titled list of "All Known Idea
Generation Methods" compiled by Jack Martin Leith. I think it
currently stands at around 150 entries.

All Known Idea Generation Methods
http://www.jackmartinleith.com/idea-generation-methods/

// jeff

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19 Mar 2009 - 1:12pm
Victor Lombardi
2003

Hi Alan,

I highly recommend you start by writing down a brief. It may seem
totally old school, but it helps keep teams (and clients) from
straying too far from the stated goal. It can be just one-page and,
well, see wikipedia for the rest...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_brief

Once you have an explicit brief, you can look through those methods
on the Jack Leith site and ask, which will help us generate the right
kind of ideas?

I'll also offer a few methods of my own, which try to go beyond raw
ideas to help you generate concepts...
http://www.digital-web.com/articles/concept_design_tools/

Best,
Victor

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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21 Mar 2009 - 3:08am
Abhay Rautela
2008

I think De Bono's 'Six Thinking Hats' technique works great, whether in a
group or alone. The six different colored 'hats' represent a different ways
of thinking.
The six thinking hats cover positive, negative, neutral, creative emotional
and organizationally inclined ways of thinking.

It's like saying you would want people of these six 'hats' to be a part of
your team because you look at problems and think about solutions in a way
that views them from all angles, so to speak.
-Abhay

--
Cone Trees- User Research & Design
http://www.conetrees.com
http://www.twitter.com/conetrees
http://www.theuxbookmark.com
http://uxbookclub.org/doku.php?id=new_delhi

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 12:52 AM, Alan Cox <alan.cox at icontact.com> wrote:

> I'm thinking about leading some discussions to help my team and
> company generate ideas about what sort of experience we want our
> users to have when they interact with a new version of our software.
>
> Have you ever participated in, or led, an activity that you found
> really helpful in generating these ideas? I anticipate a group of
> 5-7 people working together for about 1 week to do this; I've got a
> number of ideas already, but I am searching for more.
>
> My ideas, still in an toddler stage, are:
>
> 1) Come up with two companies, similar to each other but different
> from us. What attributes do they have in common, and how are they
> different?
>
> 2) "Promise, Symbol, Proof" - For ten (or so) companies, come up
> with what they're promising their customers, the mark that
> symbolizes the promise, and the proof that shows they're meeting
> their promise.
>
> 3) "What are we? and the rule of opposites" - Come up with
> attributes that describe our product and our users' experience with
> it. What are the opposites of those attributes, and what would
> things be like if we switched to the opposite?
>
> 4) "Weird What-ifs" - Fill in the following sentence "What if we
> were __________?" and then answer it. For instance, "What if we
> were a religion?
>
> I would love to hear what other types of activities you have found
> successful.
>
> (By the way, I haven't called this "brainstorming" because I
> don't want to limit the responses.)
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Reply to this thread at ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40167
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

21 Mar 2009 - 7:52am
Chauncey Wilson
2007

Some other ideas you can try are:

1. metaphor brainstorming
2. brainwriting
3. braindrawing
4. future workshops
5. Persona/perspective based brainstorming (similar in concept to six
thinking hats technique)
6. Unfocus groups
7. the crawford slip method
8. Freelisting
9. The card exchange technique (Geschka, 1983)
10. The Nominal group technique
11. Buzz sessions

Chauncey

On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 4:08 AM, Cone <hello at conetrees.com> wrote:
> I think De Bono's 'Six Thinking Hats' technique works great, whether in a
> group or alone. The six different colored 'hats' represent a different ways
> of thinking.
> The six thinking hats cover positive, negative, neutral, creative emotional
> and organizationally inclined ways of thinking.
>
> It's like saying you would want people of these six 'hats' to be a part of
> your team because you look at problems and think about solutions in a way
> that views them from all angles, so to speak.
> -Abhay
>
> --
> Cone Trees- User Research & Design
> http://www.conetrees.com
> http://www.twitter.com/conetrees
> http://www.theuxbookmark.com
> http://uxbookclub.org/doku.php?id=new_delhi
>
> On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 12:52 AM, Alan Cox <alan.cox at icontact.com> wrote:
>
>> I'm thinking about leading some discussions to help my team and
>> company generate ideas about what sort of experience we want our
>> users to have when they interact with a new version of our software.
>>
>> Have you ever participated in, or led, an activity that you found
>> really helpful in generating these ideas?  I anticipate a group of
>> 5-7 people working together for about 1 week to do this; I've got a
>> number of ideas already, but I am searching for more.
>>
>> My ideas, still in an toddler stage, are:
>>
>> 1) Come up with two companies, similar to each other but different
>> from us.  What attributes do they have in common, and how are they
>> different?
>>
>> 2) "Promise, Symbol, Proof" - For ten (or so) companies, come up
>> with what they're promising their customers, the mark that
>> symbolizes the promise, and the proof that shows they're meeting
>> their promise.
>>
>> 3) "What are we? and the rule of opposites" - Come up with
>> attributes that describe our product and our users' experience with
>> it.  What are the opposites of those attributes, and what would
>> things be like if we switched to the opposite?
>>
>> 4) "Weird What-ifs" - Fill in the following sentence "What if we
>> were __________?" and then answer it.  For instance, "What if we
>> were a religion?
>>
>> I would love to hear what other types of activities you have found
>> successful.
>>
>> (By the way, I haven't called this "brainstorming" because I
>> don't want to limit the responses.)
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Reply to this thread at ixda.org
>> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=40167
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

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