I’m putting together an article on ‘best practice’
brainstorming practical usage and trying to get some feedback through various
mailing lists. One of these lists is
IXDA, I already read most of the interesting posts on brainstorming, and got
some ideas but I would like to get some more feedback. Please, refer to old
posts because I might have missed some of them.
I’m referring to brainstorming in agencies and design
studios but not over the phone or solo brainstorming. Below are some questions
that would really help me get finished with the article. Everyone that answers
will be cited at the end and I’ll also provide a link to the website. Feel free
to answer as many questions as you like and give as much feedback as you like.
What is your personal definition of brainstorming?
When and in what kind of projects do you use it ? (generating
new products, new ideas, business)
Who should sit in the brainstorming session and why? is it
just for creative people or does including non-creatives (managers or admin)
help find the balance between creativity and practicality? Or do you include
everyone in the search of a balanced input?
Do you include third parties (client)? Why?
What would you say it’s the optimum balance in number of
people? 2,4,5,10? Why?
What information do you provide before and/or at the
beginning of the session (sketches of target audience, summaries of researches identifying attitudes and behavior,
other resources or nothing at all)?
How much time do you give to review the brief and prepare
for the brainstorming session?
What’s the best time of the day to hold a brainstorming
Where do you conduct the brainstorming session (out-of-house
Who the facilitator should be and what characteristics should
have? Do you bring someone from the outside? is it a manager? does it need to
be little known to the group? How many facilitators?
What is the role of the facilitator? Does it keep things
moving, capture notes, identify key ideas?
How long should the session be? Different lights for
Do brainstorming sessions need to be structured or do you
brainstorm in an informal place without planning? For example, on a Friday with
colleagues in a pub, or in a plane heading to conferences.
Do you just send out email and ask people to brainstorm? A kind
of e-mail brainstorm and possibly use these information in the actual
What tools do you use? Paper, whiteboard, software?