4b. Practice: Generating concepts

Generating concepts

Try it out: Conduct an open brainstorm

First, spend 5-10 minutes conducting an open brainstorm: 

  • Use the problem statement you’ve identified (“How might we…?”) to generate as many concepts as you can.
  • Remember to sketch each concept as you go, and to include a brief title and short description. Here is a worksheet you can use to capture your ideas.
  • Aim for quantity. It may help to select a target number of ideas you want to generate (e.g., 15 ideas in 5 minutes), and count them as you go.

Try it out: Conduct a guided brainstorm

Next, spend 5-10 minutes conducting a guided brainstorm: 

  • Use the design principles you’ve identified (“The solution should…”) to help you generate new concepts.
  • You can start by generating concepts that relate to each design principle individually, and then challenge yourself to come up with concepts that address multiple design principles at once (e.g., “How might we address X and Y at the same time?”).
  • Remember to sketch each concept as you go, and to include a brief title and short description. Here is a worksheet you can use to capture your ideas.

Share and reflect

In your problem-specific learning group:

  1. Contrast the two brainstorming approaches (open vs. guided) and the types of ideas they resulted in.
  2. Describe an example concept that came out of each brainstorming approach.