Design Thinking

A proven and strategic framework for innovation


The third step of the Design Thinking process is ideation. Ideation is simply when your team focuses on generating ideas. This is a step in the process where we are no longer focusing, rather we are trying to be very broad in order to cover a wide range of ideas. Ideation is the first step of actually creating and crafting solutions. No longer are we trying to discover or define problems, now we are looking to solve them.

One activity that is great to kick off ideation is the "How might we?" activity. Simply put, your team, armed with the needs of your users, generates as many "How might we?" answers as possible. For a shopping cart the need may be safe and secure seat for an infant or child, making the question "How might we create a safe and secure cart seat for childeren?". Your team would then come up with as many ideas for that one question as possible. An important thing to remember here is that we are not searching for one great solution. The ideation stage is specifcally for generating as many ideas as you can regardless of how outlandish they are. A great example of a idea for the shopping cart seat would be "a srong velcro suit for the child and strong velcrow in the cart seat". It may sound a bit crazy but thats ok, these ideas will be sorted out later.

Before moving to the next step of the process, prototyping, a great exercise for your team now is selection. This is where now that you have numerous ideas on the board its time to start selecting the best ones. For this activity each person recieves three stickers, a yellow, a red, and a green one. The yellow sticker being "most likely to make the user happy", the green being "most rational or feasable" and red being "the biggest game changer or most unexpected". After everyone has placed their stickers their should be a few that stand out as the most liked and coolest ideas, these are the ideas you should take into the prototyping phase.