Ash at CIID

Ashwin Rajan's blog while at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design.

Go for quantity – ideation to prototyping

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I have referred to this talk by Tim Brown earlier in my post on Bodystorming. Tim Brown discusses here the IDEO process for designing in groups. This is essentially what we did in CIID a few weeks back with Niels Clausen-Stuck (also from IDEO) who taught the GUI module .

One interesting rule that doesn’t seem to make much sense at first is ‘go for quantity’: Tim speaks of the apparent paradox of having rules in what is essentially an open-ended process driven by spontaneity. He mentions the need for ‘rules to break the old rules’ hard coded into adults’ minds (unlike kids) that hamper natural creativity. It’s very interesting how ‘going for quantity’ can be a great rule for getting misconceptions, biases, pet peeves, old ideas posing as new ones, and generally a lot of  crap out of the way. Within this output, a handful of early ideas begin to stand out that demand greater attention and hold the promise of convincing solutions.

But there’s something the above visual doesn’t depict: when this process is performed by multi-disciplinary groups, the clutch of ideas integrate, combine, morph and mutate each other into unanticipated new ideas. Something that Niels said that stuck in my head: “I usually don’t even remember which are my ideas.” Depending on the inclinations of the team, the final ideas with deep potential for prototyping might end up looking something like this:

Or, like this!

Whatever they look like, if the ideation process has been driven by the right premises, contexts and concerns across the brainstorming life cycle, they should offer a rich trove of content for early prototypes.

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Written by Ashwin Rajan

December 22, 2008 at 12:44 am

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