Ideation Techniques in Design Thinking, Design thinking is increasingly becoming the go-to method of problem-solving in business, and one of the first steps in that process is ideation. In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose and utilize several different techniques to get your team out of their comfort zone and think outside the box. We’ll also dive into how you can create useful visual assets out of these brainstorms so that they can be implemented down the line in other design thinking processes such as prototyping, testing, and refining.
Ideation Techniques in Design Thinking
- KJ Method
- Mind Mapping
- Flow Diagrams for ideation design thinking
- Impact Mapping
- Affinity Diagramming
- Vote Counting in design thinking
- Scenarios, Storyboards, Case Studies
- Experience Maps
A method for ideation is the KJ method. The acronym stands for keep jumping.It’s a technique in design thinking and engineering, as well as organizational development that is designed to generate new ideas. For this reason, it’s also sometimes referred to as a creativity catalyst. The basic idea behind the KJ Method is to keep switching from one idea to another while generating ideas.
When trying out this technique you might find yourself asking questions like What if I combine the
se two items? or What would happen if I put these two different items together? The goal of this method is not so much finding a solution but rather exploring possibilities and opening up more options when you’re stuck on an issue. There are many ways to implement the KJ Method, such as making time during your brainstorming session to quickly explore other ideas by sketching or storyboarding them before continuing with different exercises.
When trying out a technique like KJ, you may find that it helps to ask yourself specific questions and then create constraints. This will encourage you to think outside of your initial comfort zone. For example, if you’re struggling with how to design an unusual form factor for your product, you might write down these questions on a whiteboard:
How can I maximize portability? (Constraint) How can I do that without adding much weight? (Constraint) Is there anything I can remove from my gadget or design that will help me achieve both portability and light weightiness? (Forces) What kind of items or devices could help me solve these issues?
The ideation design thinking process starts with taking all of the possible solutions, questions, and ideas that are visible to you, then connecting them with associations. Once they’re connected, you have a visual representation of all of your ideations that can be reviewed for further discussion. Mind maps can be done individually or collaboratively to increase creative input from more people. With a new idea coming from a different perspective, different aspects of an issue will come to light that might not have been previously noticed. As each idea is developed, it should fit into its place on the map, or else you need to go back and rethink where it’s appropriate and what could be taking its place. Reviewing mind maps can help generate more ideas by showing how one concept links to another.
Reviewing also helps group together similar concepts so they become part of the same idea. Sometimes there are multiple mind maps within one big project because as time goes on, needs and objectives change- meaning it may be necessary to switch gears midway through the design thinking process.
Flow Diagrams for ideation design thinking
There are a number of techniques for ideation. Some techniques, such as divergent thinking, may help you generate more and different ideas, while others such as affinity diagramming can help make sense of the ideas you’ve generated. Which technique to use depends on your needs and what is available to you. The following table illustrates four ideation design thinking techniques: brainstorming, divergent thinking, convergent thinking, and affinity diagramming. For each technique, there is an explanation of how it works, followed by the type of task it would be best suited for.
For more information on how to use design thinking for a better experience and outputs, check out how design thinking can help you. For example, using prototypes can be a useful and effective way to test your idea before building or manufacturing it. Prototypes will give you something tangible that people can see, touch, and interact with before investing any time or money into building it. This can be very valuable when trying to validate your ideas while they are still at an early stage. Once you’ve identified your problem statement—who are you solving a problem for? what do they need help with?—you should next try generating as many solutions as possible. Be sure to let these ideas flow freely; don’t hold back because some of them may seem like bad ideas now.
In the Design Thinking Approach, teams use ideation techniques to produce a new product idea. One way of doing this is called Impact Mapping. Here, the team creates three columns on a piece of paper to describe the Problem, Possible Solutions, and Outcomes This helps them come up with the best solution by weighing the advantages and disadvantages of different ideas before selecting one for implementation. : The Design Thinking approach is an iterative process of using ideation techniques to generate new product ideas
Iterative process: When trying to solve a problem or create something, you do it over and over again in order to improve the results until you have reached your goal
Improvements: each time you try again you make small changes so that it will get better. Design thinking is just that. The design thinking approach includes the following steps: identify the problem, brainstorm a list of potential solutions, sketch prototypes and validate those with users to ensure feasibility; design high-fidelity prototypes; test those designs with users to determine their effectiveness and usability; identify lessons learned from testing, synthesize insights from all data collected from design iterations in research phases and revise prototypes accordingly. Design thinking takes everything into account including user needs, competitor offerings as well as company goals.
What are some of the best ideation techniques used in service design thinking? Here are a few techniques that you can use to get started. An affinity diagram is one method that will help participants identify connections and relationships between items. A card sorting activity is another tool that helps you organize information by categories. A mind map can also be very useful, as it will allow you to break down an idea into smaller pieces. Another technique for service design thinking is using sticky notes.
The process begins with one sticky note for each customer’s need or problem. As ideas are generated, add them to the sticky notes until they represent your customer needs or problems well enough. Another technique is called Towering questions. For this exercise, people gather together and discuss problems within their industry or service sector. After discussing potential issues, group members individually create lists of related questions on large sheets of paper that they share with other group members while sitting back-to-back with them (in order to avoid influencing each other). Group members then vote on which question should be addressed first, second, third, and so on until all questions have been addressed or there isn’t time left for discussion.
Vote Counting in design thinking
One of the best ideations techniques is vote counting because it forces users to weigh their priorities. This technique may be difficult for design thinking UX projects, however, because most people may not feel knowledgeable enough about the subject matter to make a decision. Instead of directly voting on a list of features for design, there are other possible votes including All of these features are essential, Only these features are essential, and This is the wrong group
For example, if you’re designing a car with good gas mileage as its main goal, you could hold an election that asks your audience whether they think more should be spent on better tires or more powerful engines. They would then cast a vote for one option over another—or perhaps for both options. If enough voters select better tires over better engines, then that feature will earn points toward its inclusion in your final design solution. You can also use write-in votes when designing with design thinking UX methods so that those without strong opinions can cast their own ballot about which direction your design should take next. Once you tally up all of your votes and tally how many were cast for each side, you can decide what kind of strategy to use from there.
Scenarios, Storyboards, Case Studies
Design brainstorming is a technique that uses an unstructured, free-form exploration of design problems to generate design solutions. Designers often use the technique to stimulate creative ideas and out-of-the-box thinking by suggesting new ways of looking at old problems. The best ideation techniques combine group collaboration with individual creativity to tackle a project with passion and direction. Once you have identified your key goal or problem, it’s time to decide on your method for ideation
Invite your team members to the discussion about what should be done. Allow everyone an equal voice and encourage everyone to participate in the dialogue without judgment from anyone else. There are no right or wrong answers, but there are better or worse solutions. Record all of the suggestions on paper and continue to build upon them until they form a comprehensive list of all possible solutions. A word of caution: people can get frustrated during collaborative design brainstorming because they don’t feel heard when they offer input; therefore, create space for them so they know their opinion matters.
Valuable techniques for identifying design opportunities include brainstorming techniques.
How Designers Approach an Experience Map Design thinking UX designers often use an experience map to represent how people interact with a design and the flow of their interactions. This can be done through visualizing an interactive screen (using wireframes), diagramming a flow of ideas, or mapping key points and highlighting when users may become frustrated.
Ultimately, it’s about figuring out where the user gets stuck and figuring out what they’re feeling at that point. This helps designers know what improvements to make to create a better experience. By understanding all of these points, designers are able to figure out why something isn’t working and how they can change it so that is does work. Design thinking UX has made designing easier because it not only simplifies the process but makes designing more intuitive for designers.