ideationg methods

I’m just starting a project about design methods where I’ve chosen to focus on how companies generate ideas - more precisely, how they change and evolve the methods for generating ideas to suit their particular area.

So before i start interviewing companies, I want to get a thorough idea of what methods are out there and up until now I’ve found the following (not categorized or prioritized):

• Brainstorm
• Lateral thinking techniques
• Morphorlogi
• Sketching
• Collaborative sketching (C-sketch)
• Synectics/analogies

Does anybody have other idea geneation methods/techniques that are relevant in this context?

Dreaming, Reading, User-Observation, ‘Ideation’

I think you’re right about the fact that we get ideas when dreaming and reading, but I wouldn’t go as far as to calling them a technique or method. Well at least not under the definition I’m working under.

A design method is (as understood by my lecturer): A goal oriented rationalization/simplification of design activities in the form of a standardization.

bimimicry… when solving a problem ask the question - how does nature solve this problem, or similar problems?

whats morphorlogi?

If you are planning to do interviews with companies, about how they solve problems, don’t forget the:

  • WCTOMF “whatever-comes-to-our-mind-first”-Method
  • WDNEMB “whatever-does-not-effect-my-budget”-Method
  • NTBDBSOT “needs-to-be-done-by-some-other-team”-Method

I guess, that should be 99% of the Answers you’ll get - if you do not forget to bring a lie detector…

Hehe, nice ones, especially the NTBDBSOT method…

Once I start interviewing companies and developers, I’m not expecting to see or hear about methods like the ones described in text books, but thats also part of the project - to see how methods are adopted and altered in practice. Or possibly to see a “design routine” /method that ha evolved in a particular company.

Maybe it’s my engineering gene that’s assuming that product developers structure their work in a repeatable way that could be called a method.

Ethnographic methodology is key when designing a product. As a designer, I would define it as the study of how people live day to day, and interact with everything and everyone around them. All product design companies should be educated if not all ready on this type of research.

Are you asking about brainstorming or product creation? Dreaming is definetly a valid ideation technique. Random doodling, getting coffee, and so on.

We tend to have three paths to getting to market:

  1. Product line planning. Basically starts by analyzing the changes in the market vs changes in sales in a year over year way to identify product line strengths and weakness, plus market opportunities.

  2. Consumer insights. Someone is out in the field, gets a consumer insight (someone miss using something or appropriating it for another use) and comes back and designs and champions a solution.

  3. Technical innovation. a new process leads to a new way of making things leads to a new product type.


sleeping over the brief…just allow your unconscious mind play its role… :bulb:

I just heard about a couple recently when your trying to keep an entire system in mind… CATWOE, Rich Picture, and “Black Box.” Sometimes you can’t find the best solution until you have the best idea of what the problem is

TRIZ is that computer program/ invention machine right? Sounds so artificial to me

Is there a good resource that explains some of these?

No, no, TRIZ is a lateral-thinking method where you look at how other industries have solved similar problems. I think this is one of the most popular ways Industrial Designers solve problems.

LOL, that is TOO TRUE.

Not only do companies not have methods, they’re not even aware of methods, nor do they think they need methods.
Don’t forget:

  • FSOCTB “find some other company to buy” method.

Ideation probably my favorite design phase…

I’ve heard of some of these idea generation techniques, and am eager to learn about the other ones. Can anyone suggest a book that describes this methods, or firm that hangs it’s hat on Ideation?

I’m fascinated by these methods, but it seems too hardly be discussed thoroughly.

Some of my favorites are:

6-3-5 (or brainwriting)

Empathic Lead User (super innovative! and homegrown at my school University of Texas)

Activity Diagram

Force Flow Analysis (more engineering based)

Function Structure (more engineering based)

Morphological Matrix (maybe this is what you had?)

I like doing something mindless that lets my mind wander, like mowing the lawn- hard to sketch the ideas though