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Brainstorming - Tips

After you've lined up your How Might We questions (to focus your brainstorming energy), you're ready to dive in.

Brainstorming is a great way to come up with lots of ideas by leveraging and building upon the creativity of all your design team members and collaborators.

It's typically helpful to start with each of the How Might We questions, and use them as a seed and a framework to guide your brainstorming.   Keeping the process open-ended and inviting creativity, while staying focussed and productive is an art that you'll develop through lots of practice.

While brainstorming:

  • Go for quantity -- we want lots of ideas!
  • Use headlines rather than diving into the details -- keep it moving lightly
  • Encourage wild ideas and creative approaches
  • Defer judgement -- get the ideas out on the table, but don't debate, dissect, or disparage them.
  • Stay on topic -- if you're drifting off-topic, that might be a sign that you have another How Might We question to consider

When we're together the "All-In" every person write their ideas on post-it notes and stick them to the board is a great way to capture lots of ideas.

With everyone working remotely, this is harder to do.  You might try:

  • Having one person act as a scribe, capturing the ideas on a document as they share their screen.
  • Having everyone on the team open a shared document, for example a Google Slides document, that everyone can add to freely -- similar to sticking post-it notes to the wall.

Here's an overview and tips on how to Brainstorm effectively from the d.School Bootcamp Bootleg: