Ideation requires thinking out of the box, it involves much thinking, and when not properly done, there can be conflicts of thoughts with no defined method on how to separate them.
According to Nielsen Norman Group “Ideation is the process of developing a broad variety of ideas on a specific topic, with no intention to criticize or analyze them”. Ideation involves both Divergent Thinking and Convergent Thinking, Divergent thinking allows you to come up with a variety of solutions while Convergent thinking entails analysis and allows you to choose the best solutions for solving the problem.
Here are some steps to follow in order to have a successful Ideation Process
A brainstorming session is necessary for generating ideas. During a brainstorming session, you have to think wide, there has to be an enabling environment that allows free flow of ideas and ideas. There are different brainstorming methods to adopt, some of which are:
This involves individuals writing their ideas on notes and later sharing them with the team, more like an individual brainstorming session than sharing with the group later.
In this case, the individual writes their idea and passes it on to the next person to explain that idea
This is more physical as it relates to pacing up and down while having discussion sessions on ideas.
Related article: The benefits of Ideation sessions
The Worst Idea Trick
Coming up with the lowest possible suggestions relieves the pressure of making the right decisions. It is easier to make the right decisions when you’ve explored the wrong decisions you can make, it also gives direction to your thoughts.
Narrow down your best ideas
Here, you apply convergent thinking, the goal is to narrow down the ideas generated to the ideas which will eventually form potential solutions, each person can explain their ideas in a convincing manner since the design is human-centered, and ideas can be chosen based on their technical feasibilities and their user value.
Related article: Consumer Insights for Ideation in UX Design.
This is like trouble-shooting through the design, ask questions about all the assumptions you’ve created for the problems and their solutions, this will help in thinking twice about the product and the solution it proffers.
Prioritize the final Ideas
By now, you should have your ideas filtered to a few useful ones, you can now rank your final ideas to have a priority list. You can do this by creating a comparison table, based on the expectations of the design.