There’s a lot of different ways to ideate, but not all ideation techniques are created equally. Often time you have to try out different techniques first before finding the perfect solution. Luckily there’s no such thing as a bad idea and most of the time any of these techniques can bring you a new perspective or idea.
Using the point of view statements I created last week (which you can read about here) I used different ideation techniques to try and solve their unique problems. I won’t go through all the different techniques I used but I will give one example for each and if you’re interested in reading all the point of view statements and techniques I used to solve them there will be a link at the bottom of this post.
Crowdstorming is one of my favorite Ideation techniques. I’m a big believer in reaching out to others and not trying to solve everything on your on so this is really the perfect technique for me. The Interaction Design Foundation describes crowdstorming as,
“Social media, customer surveys, focus groups and co-design workshops are all methods of getting the crowd to share their thoughts on the generated ideas. This process may not provide an ultimate winner but it will reveal valuable insights that can assist in the daunting decision relating to which ideas to proceed with.”
I took this thinking and applied it to my procreate problem statement, “Users who aren’t professional artists need an easily portable application because they don’t have a traditional art studio” On social media the Procrate accounts would start the hashtag #whereinspirationhits and encourage artists to post photos of where they draw. This would be a great way to find out where artists most frequently use their tablets. It’s a clever way to generate buzz about the app and to gather data.
Another technique I enjoy is co-creation. Mostly for exactly the same reasons that I enjoy crowdstorming, but maybe a little bit more because co-creation is much more hands on. It’s literally creating with others. My favorite thing! I used co-creation to solve Paper’s problem statement, “Users who create art more freely need an application that lets them get their thoughts out quickly because they use art as a way to journal.” I felt like this could be a perfect opportunity to have a workshop with others and physically see the different results as they appear.
This technique is an interesting one and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it unless there were some unique circumstances. That being said there were some pretty unique circumstances for Paper’s second statement, “Users who have a lot of ideas need an application that will comply with that because they need to jot down their thoughts quickly”. The unique circumstances being that users seemed to hate the new Paper update and no matter what they did they could never go back to the former glory they once had. I decided a creative pause would be their best bet so they could go back and reevaluate what went wrong.
Prototyping is a very fun ideation technique and I would use it on almost every point of view statement if I wasn’t careful. However I did end up using it on a few, one being Auto Desk Sketchbook’s first problem statement, “Users who create art need to have an application that will save their pieces because they will need to use/ look at it again later”. I decided this would be a great place for prototyping because there could be a lot of places to try adding a save feature. There could be a button to save your file in various different formats and a history save that lets you look back at other pages you have worked on and go back to a specific saved point. A lot could be tested here to make user’s lives easier.
Since I’m talking so much about drawing apps it would be almost criminal to leave out sketchstorm. I used this technique for Auto Desk Sketchbook’s second problem statement, “Users who frequently do art will need and application with a lot of tools because they are familiar with how to use them.” My idea for this would be to see the different sketches users create and then evaluate the most popular brushes from there and see why those are the most popular brushes. From there other brushes or tools can be modeled off the most popular ones.
The great part of ideation is that you can use these techniques, any of the many others, or mix them together and still great incredible results. Ideation is all about letting your imagination run wild and trying to solve a problem in the most effective way possible.
Read the rest of my techniques pdf here: Ideation Techniques