Brainstorms can be a lot of fun. But how often have you had a great brainstorm, spent all of this creative energy coming up with great ideas, and then did nothing with them? Too many times, right?
Here’s a worksheet that can help you capture the brainstorm and move forward.
1. THE PROBLEM IS _______.
Hopefully you were brainstorming on some type of problem. Restate it in an 8-10 word sentence. This is actually quite hard to do, just take it from A.E. who said:
If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask.
2. WE GENERATED [insert number] IDEAS.
The more the better, right? When a photographer gets assigned the front page of the NYTs, she doesn’t go out and shoot one picture. She shoots dozens or hundreds, each one increasing the chances of finding that killer shot.
3. WE USED THESE TWO SETS OF OBJECTIVE CRITERIA TO ASSESS THE IDEAS:
1. _____ and _____
2. _____ and _____
Criteria sets can be stuff like “Safe ideas & Wild ideas,” “Expensive ideas & Inexpensive ideas,” “High tech ideas & Low tech ideas.”
NOTE – “This will work & This won’t work” is not an objective criteria set. And if you already know what’s gonna work, you don’t need to brainstorm.
4. WE CHOSE THESE TWO IDEAS TO PROTOTYPE:
Chose two ideas because if you chose only one, you’ll go with the safe one. And if you’re gonna go with the safe one, then again, why are you brainstorming??
On prototyping: You can and should prototype ideas in a simple way at first. If you have an idea for a phone app, draw a few screen shots with pencil and paper. This is a prop that you can use for gathering valuable feedback when you test it. (Designers like myself love props).
5. WE HAVE A HYPOTHESIS FOR EACH PROTOTYPE:
1. If _____, then _____.
2. If _____, then _____.
A hypothesis is an “if, then” statement. For example, “If we introduce prototype A, then X won’t be a problem.” It’s very important that you refer back to the problem statement in your hypothesis. If your hypothesis and problem statement don’t match up, then you have some revising to do.