#IXD302 Week 8 – Idea Generation

In today’s class, Daniel presented us with a brief on our intended presentation deliverable and how to start the ideation process.

Daniel started the class about our blogs and showed a ‘danger’ list of each student in the class. I was in the red. This is done as a wake-up call and start creating blogs. Although I find it difficult to juggle each module appropriately thus I am spending most of my time doing IXD301 modules. I need to find a balance between this. Hopefully next semester I can be more balanced in my work.

The Brief – Product Pitch

Pitch an idea for a digital product.

5 Minutes Pitch

5 Minutes Q&A

  • Possible ‘Devices’
  • Web Site
  • Native Application
  • Web-App
  • eBook
  • Printed Book
  • Cards
  • Physical Product
  • Packaging System
  • Boardgame
  • Connected Product


“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” – Albert Einstein

I absolutely love this quote as it has put some new perspectives on this topic. Sometimes when I have an ‘absurd’ idea that is out of this world or even the opposite, I can lose it through its own absurdity. This doesn’t have to be the case as ideas are meant to be challenged and perceived in different ways which leads to new discoveries. In this case, this sense of taking risks allows us to explore multiple ideas and approaches to a design and don’t be afraid to fail. It’s time I start looking at ‘failure’ in a constructive light and ask myself what went wrong. Without failure, it’s like walking into a dark room plotted with holes.

How can I begin the process of idea generation?

Fortunately, Daniel has provided us with a vast number of ways we can start the ideation stage of our presentation.

 Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is one I use very often to help path out as many structural routes as I possibly can for my projects, ultimately allowing me to explore new concepts and challenges.

  • Logical associations
  • Categorized
  • Fast
  • Visual order
  • Radiates out from central issue/question



Brainstorming is another useful one I use, as I have a large whiteboard in my room I can quickly gather and organized all of my ideas in a simple yet effective structure.

  • Spontaneous
  • Good where time is limited
  • Encourages discussion
  • Encourages free-thinking
  • Unexpected ideas
  • Collaborative

Visual Thinking

Again, one of my go-to’s for exploring and conveying a sense of vision in my projects. I primarily use Pinterest or create a visual mood board. I also find this method very helpful.

  • Google Images
  • Design Inspiration
  • Pinterest
  • Moodboards



A technique that is drilled into our minds from day one, and for good reason. I primarily love using this method if I’m on the go and suddenly get a really good idea.

  • Quick
  • Very visual
  • Easy to interpret
  • Easy to edit/add
  • Lots of iterations

Making Connections / Associations 

This one is a new and interesting one. It involves gathering different factors of a sequence e.g. education, age, game and device. (these are random factors) This creates a casual game for language learning aimed at young professionals who have to collect words and assemble sentences to progress to the next level (Daniel’s example) This can be then arranged in a table.

How can we get the factors involved?

  1. Pull a random word or image from a hat.
  2. Mash two ideas together by generating a list of different elements or factors.
  • Helps create connections between different factors in a project.


Worst Way 

This is another new one that Daniel has shown me. It simply involves mapping the worst possible solution to the problem. This helps relieve any tension that I might think around the idea.

To make it even more fun, it can be done with a team to map the most absurd and stupidest idea.


What if…? How Might We…?

This involves asking questions or re-phrasing a design problem with different words. This can ultimately take a lot off the responsibility of expecting a solution and allows me to explore and map different routes.

(Daniel’s Example) E.g. How might we create a Netflix for travel agents? / What if a store hand no checkouts?


This involves a more mentally intuitive approach. Instead of brainstorming a big question, instead, break the question down and ask smaller simpler questions that are easy to answer. Such as:

How do people listen to music?

Where do people listen to music?

How do you feel when listening to music?

These can ultimately lead to more of an open discussion and path the way to more complex and stronger ideas.

Osborn Checklist

The Osborn checklist is familiar, if I can remember correctly we did this last year.

What is it?

Created by Alex Osborn, it is a complex list of questions that combines and alters existing elements to manufacture new ideas. Below shows the structure of how one could be implemented:

  • Substitute: What element within the product can be swapped with something else and what would happen?
  • Combine: What can be combined and how would this affect the product?
  • Adapt: What aspects of the product can be adapted to a different context and how?
  • Modify: What can be modified to improve the product?
  • Put to other uses: Are there any other uses this product can serve?
  • Eliminate: Is there anything within the product that can be removed to make it simpler?
  • Rearrange or reverse: What can be reversed or rearranged to make this product better?


“The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible” – David Ogilvy

This is similar to the original quote at the start of today’s lesson from Albert Einstein. If ideas are boring, they will usually remain boring and bland. Like Daniel said, “It’s easier to simplify and dumb down an idea than it is to make a boring one exciting..”.


What have I learned?

Classes like today are one’s that I love, learning the raw process behind everything and being able to choose from a diverse range of creative and innovative processes. I found today’s class extremely beneficial to me in allowing me to see what process I can potentially take to start my pitch. It has also given me a variety of new ways to do this. Additionally, I can use these practices not only for this project but also use it in other future ones and alternative projects. I am looking forward to beginning the ideation stage of my project.




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