Students ask: how do you brainstorm? [signed]

23 Oct 2005 - 7:58pm
8 years ago
1 reply
822 reads
Bernie Monette
2005

Glad to help: my answer is interspersed below.

>
> I¹m part of a group of 4th year students trying to develop a capture
> and access tool to help enhance the productivity of a team¹s creative
> process. For better or worse, we¹ve decided to target Interaction
> Designers for our initial development. So, we were hoping that some
> of you might have the time to answer some questions about how you get
> your brainstorming done:
>
> 1) How do you do your brainstorming individually? Ie. Scribbles
> on paper, post-it notes stuck to walls.

Depends on the group. My favourite is the large flipcharts that can be stuck
to walls. Anything works: as long as you can change it as you go along.
>
> 2) How do you do your brainstorming as a group? Ie. F2F meetings,
> email, phone, individually, or any combination.
I have only done it face to face. I can't imagine using email or the
telephone. Certainly, you can discuss, but to me brainstorming needs the
immediate presence of everyone.
>
> 3) Do you use a formal brainstorming process in those group
> interactions? For example, do your meetings all follow the same
> structure. Do you have any firm protocol?

The main rule is that during the 'storm' no ideas are rejected. No matter
how weird, stupid, or obscure. We try bring in an independent facilitator
who stands outside the group. Finally, this facilitator writes down ideas
exactly as the person states them. There is not editing at this point.
>
> 4) What problems do you encounter when sharing your ideas in this
> way?
It can be difficult getting everyone to contribute. A good facilitator is
able to encourage everyone to join in. This is why no idea is rejected or
commented on during the storm.
>
> 5) What do you find works well about sharing your ideas in this way?
You can bring the team together to trust each other. As well the storm
brings in new ideas and new combinations of idea that no one thought of
before.
>
> 6) How do you organize the ideas that come out of this process?
> For example, do you archive the ideas that were good but not useful
> at that time?
>
>
The facilitator turns to the group and asks the group to decide. Usually we
try to set a hierarchy of ideas that need addressing now or have a high
priority in the project. As well the group decides what ideas to avoid or
perhaps combine into others.Finally, each idea becomes an action item. Each
action has someone who will do it or advocate for it. The group then sets a
date where these actions items will be reviewed and progress reports given.

> Right now, we¹re looking at developing a digital sketchpad tool that
> records what you¹ve drawn and gives you playback and organization
> capacities. The idea is inspired by things like http://artpad.art.com
> and the Pegasus drawing system, and are looking at Heather Richter¹s
> research into meeting capture and access at Georgia Tech.

Interesting Breeze seems to have features that might facilitate a real time
brainstorm over distance.
> Cheers.
> -Ryan Betts

Ditto
Bernie Monette

--
Bernie Monette
InterActive Arts
Internet Presence Management
http://www.iaai.ca monette at iaai.ca 416 469 4337

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Comments

24 Oct 2005 - 9:22pm
Bernie Monette
2005

>
> Thanks a bunch for the insight, everyone. The responses we got from
> everyone are a big help.
>
> Bernie Monette wrote:
>
>> Interesting Breeze seems to have features that might facilitate a
>> real time
>> brainstorm over distance.
>
> I was just wondering if you had a link to the Interesting Breeze
> stuff. I'm not familiar with it and couldn't narrow down a google
> search enough to find it.
>
> Cheers.
> -Ryan Betts

Breeze is a Macromedia product. It is server based and can be cantankerous
to set up. Although, if you are at a school you might find that the
Macromedia folks will be interested in working with you: i.e. Educational
prices.

Here is the link
http://www.macromedia.com/software/breeze/

We have it set up. If it looks interesting to you I can probably arrange a
tour of our set up.

Cheers,

Bernie

--
Bernie Monette
InterActive Arts
Internet Presence Management
http://www.iaai.ca monette at iaai.ca 416 469 4337

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