Summarize brainstorming techniques:
I used Time Travel, Mind Map and CounterAction Busting.
Time Travel consists of imagining how a particular problem would be solved in the past and future. The Personal Excellence website suggests from 10,000 years in the past to 10,000 years in the future. I went from -10k to +1k, mostly because I think that the machines that replace us will have significantly different fashion tastes.
This was, for me the most fun and original form of idea generation. Looking at how life was lived at a period in time made it easy to look at different philosophies of design and generate scenarios around them
Mind Map is a way of organizing ideas hierarchically and visually. The particularly nice part of this exercise was using the FreeMap project. The process also led me to consider how the system should determine fit, which was something that I hadn’t thought of before.
Counteraction Busting asks you to consider the forces that are standing in the way of progress of the idea. This reminded me most of putting together business plans where all aspects of the marketplace need to be analyzed and accounted for. This helped to identify mundane but important points, like how to initially populate the “ecosystem” of “genomes” and the need for designer tools.
Generating good ideas is never easy – there are a lot of issues that need to be thought through. These techniques provide a nice set of techniques that generate new perspectives on the concept. I actually think that it would be beneficial to try all the techniques, but possibly under a stronger set of constraints. I think that Variable Brainstorming might be particularly useful.
Our target demographic was tween girls, and we had access to Brian’s daughter. We presented each one of the concepts in scenario format and asked her to rate them on an open-ended scale. The results will initially show up in Brian’s Blog.
Initial User Reactions
As this process was actually integrated with evaluation method above, the user was in this case the evaluator as well. The scenario walkthrough was very effective in portraying complex information to a tween, and allowed for considerable interaction in the story as opposed to trying to explain the concept as a series of facts. Probably the most surprising finding was that if it were possible to be “uploaded” and live in a completely virtual “candyland”, this would be by far the most preferred option (from the 1,000 year future option in Time Travel).