Last week my colleague Stefan Wobben and I hosted a guest-lecture at Hanze Hogeschool in Groningen. We talked about ideation frameworks, Lego, Häagen-Dazs and Spiderman.
We started by explaining how technology frustrates. When we take a careful look-see around us we will find a lot of usability errors within no-time, both on the internet and in the real world. For Concept7 this is a reason to make stuff simpler for our clients’ client.
In order to do that properly we have to get to know these people. We need to know what they think and do, know what motivates and frustrated them. To make really good stuff we need to get inside their heads, learn to think as people do.
Idea generating inside a framework
Besides observations (practicing usability research) a framework (we mostly use an MBTI based framework) could really help us think from a another person’s point of view. We think this is absolutely necessary to create high quality digital product.
In order to find a good idea we think you need to generate at least 10 other ideas. The good thing about generating many ideas is that every single idea costs almost nothing, chances increas we find the best idea and by showing our ideas to others we may inspire others to find an even better idea.
We believe sketching (visualizing your ideas) can help you get your message across a lot. Our brains our way better in processing images than they are in processing written words. Visualized ideas are much stickier and can be found back much ieasier.
It’s hard to get started
After we’ve shown that everybody can sketch it’s still hard to come up with ideas when thinking outside the box. Imagine you have come up with a new business idea within the coming 20 minutes, just like that. That’s practically impossible…
What do Lego, Häagen-Dazs and Spiderman have in common?
They all thought of something wonderful for children and made a product for grown-ups out of it. Lego recently introduced Lego Mindstorm which is used by child-grown-ups to build real Lego robots.
Thinking inside the box
Interested in how thinking inside the box can help generate ideas? Don’t forget to read: Harvard Business Review – Breakthrough Thinking from Inside the Box by Kevin P. Coyne, Patricia Gorman Clifford en Renée Dye
By setting up a framework: ‘Create a product for grown-up’s by thinking of something that’s wonderful for children’. They managed to get a stream of ideas coming. They weren’t thinking outside the box but inside the box.
During our lecture, students were asked to redesign the search result page for a comparison website for home-delivered meals (ThuisBezorgd.nl).
Every we time do these kind of sessions we are amazed by the number of ideas people come up with. People who have never designed a website before come up with amazing solutions. The end-result of the lecture was really diverse and we think the students created a really good foundation to raise the conversion of ThuisBezorgd.nl.
Photos of the workshop for an impression of what happened during our lecture.