A Designer’s Guide To Brainstorms That Are Actually Useful

From fastcodesign.com

Rule No. 1: Always say “yes.”

It turns out that the power of brainstorming doesn’t really come from spontaneously generating new ideas. Rather, the real strength in brainstorming stems from the process’s ability to:

  • Quickly generate lots of ideas, to help get an overview of the conceptual landscape. These are not necessarily new ideas (or good ideas). They may have been brewing for a while as individuals considered the problem beforehand. These ideas can become the seeds for solutions, to be investigated with prototypes. [The] goal is to give you a mass quantity of ideas quickly . . . not solutions, but the seeds to possible solutions. Solutions take real hard work. Brainstorming gets you the lay of the land quickly for possible solution areas to investigate. But good solutions are like body building, there’s no way to cheat the hours of the gym you got to put in,” says Art Sandoval, vice president of engineering at LUNAR Design.
  • Gather a team into a physical space where they can share perspectives on the problem and are all aware of the potential solution spaces as they are surfaced. Done well, it can energize a team (and done poorly, it can deflate one).
  • Get clients or stakeholders to buy into the design process, and also learn what is important to these decision makers. “[Brainstorms are] excellent at helping clients buy into the creative process…they get to join in on the brainstorms, they see lots of ideas, they get to vote for their favorites and a dialogue happens during the voting process that is crucial,” says Yona Belfort, product designer at Vital Innovation. “Some kind of sorting always follows a brainstorm, and it’s during this process that one can learn from the client. What have they already done or are currently doing? What can’t they do? Won’t they do? And most importantly, what are they excited about?”

Read full article on: Fastcodesign.com

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