Assignment 4


The two problem statements I chose to convert were:

Mike (the anti-enthusiast) needs a way to feel confident in biking in the winter because he fears being cold and the potential dangers.
This became:
How might we make non-winter cyclists more inclined to bicycling in the winter?
I gave some explanation behind this to my participants, saying that some common issues are that they think they will be too cold, that it will be dangerous, and, for the most part, they just don't try it and assume it is best to use other modes of travel.

Guy (the guy behind the counter at VB&T) needs a way to keep aware of his surroundings because he is forced to bike close to traffic in unsafe conditions.
This became:
How might we make winter cyclists safer or feel safer.
This came with an explanation that winter bicyclists have safety concerns such as running over ice and having excess snow on the sides of the streets that can force them to have to ride closer to the car lanes.

As for the group of people...I had originally asked 7 people (actually 9, but two were out of country) 6 days in advance. After hearing back that some were busy and others could help me out, all but two ended up flaking. While I frantically asked around for others, and not having access to the people I know from class, I ended up with two friends and a monkey to take part in my brainstorming:

David, me, Lazy Monkey, and Catie Jo:

While few in numbers, I was assured by my stormers that they were likely crazy enough for at least 4 people (apparently they were under the assumption that crazy was all you needed for brainstorming).
My participants (but for the lazy monkey) had come prepared with a few ideas based on the HMWs, as I had asked them to. Before beginning the brainstorming, I initiated a few of the warmup games. These included zip zap zop, and the samurai sword game. I chose those two mostly because it seemed funny to play with only 3 people (monkey ended up acting like a total jerk and didn't even participate in these). I also had them come up with some bad ideas for either idea, some favorites were:

For reflectivity.
cat eyes.jpg

Inebriation motivation.

Biking is faster than running.

Done left handed: "You have to bike eventually!"

Fear is a powerful motivator.

If you don't like to bike, try a unicycle! (Half the wheels, half the work?)

As for creating an inspirational warmup, I had them draw sketches of an idea in 10 seconds, and had the other person come up with the label without an explanation. A few of these included:




Unfortunately, lazy monkey just sat around and twiddled his thumbs for these portions.

Now, finally, the actual brainstorming. Throughout the two sessions, I used various methods from class. I gave out lists of words, ideas for personas to take on, dark chocolate, and shouted the amount of time left as inspiration (the last one may not have been from class...). Each session was timed at 20 minutes. The first session was for How might we make winter cyclists safer or feel safer. For this session ended up with an IPM of 0.9. This showed that though very few people were involved, the rate at which ideas were generated was pretty top notch!

First round (some ideas are not included in the picture):
Round 1.jpg

We ended up sorting these into categories that went along the lines of: modifying the bicycle, communal effort, infrastructure/control beyond self and the bike, wearable accessories, wireless tracking/alert technologies. The top 5 from this were:

From David, this could also be adapted as any type of alert system or short range tracking:
bikle glass2.jpg

From me, this is something that can increase visibility and warmth/wind displacement:

From Catie Jo, this could be implemented as a customizable LED system or just glowing tape:

From David, this could be implemented as a multi-person bike that might pull up to bus stops to offer rides to those who are waiting:
peddle pub2.jpg

From Catie Jo, this could be a proximity alert system on cars or bikes:

The second session was for How might we make non-winter cyclists more inclined to bicycling in the winter? This session ended up with an IPM of 0.925. Again, top notch!

Second round:
Round 2.jpg

These were sorted into: Propaganda/campaign, Financial or other incentives, Added play value, communal cooperation/programs, Increased comfort. The top 5 were:

From david

From me

From Catie Jo

From Catie Jo

From me

Overall, some decent storming was accomplished! I may trick more people into further storming at a later date to generate additional ideas (and I will probably not ask lazy monkey back).


I think for your particular topic, giving your participants some background information about the common issues of cycling in the winter was an important choice. Understanding the need and problems for the user is key to designing effectively.

Did you make up your own game? Or was the exercise of sketching and captioning each other's picture the game?

Overall, the organization and fluidity of the blog could be a little better. Maybe try bolding and underlining words will help. There is also an option to make the type bigger or smaller. Use these small tools to your advantage. It is so much easier for the reader to follow along and get the most out of your content if it is organized information.

Although the bad ideas were humorous, they could have been left out for this post. Or perhaps one or two could have been posted at the bottom just to share. The fact that they were the first ideas the reader sees was a little confusing. It just seemed like a lot to get through before getting to the acutal brainstorm.

It looks like you ended up with some great brainstorms though when it came down to it even though you only had two participants.

First off, the negative brainstorming ideas were really funny and I think may have contributed to the following good ideas. For the blog, I think it would be beneficial to move the negative brainstorming ideas to the end or maybe make them into a collage for less emphasis. Since there were a high number of them and they were the first sketches in the post, it took me a little bit to realize that they were not the main ten ideas that you pulled from the brainstorm. Maybe you included them first because that is what you had your participants start doing? That is fine, just place less emphasis on them by doing something differently.

Another great thing to boost your blog a little more would be to create sections. This could be done by adding bigger, bolded titles throughout the blog. I think the key to this is to keep it consistent. So include titles that provide a flow - maybe that's a chronological flow or the assignment requirements and make sure to keep the formatting consistent between titles.

It would have also been interesting to learn about the background of your participants as that may explain their thought process.

Overall, it looks like you ended up with some great ideas with having only a couple people and a monkey :) good job!

Hi Rory,

It's unfortunate that so many people cancelled on your brainstorming session, but perhaps you could have improvised in a different way to fulfill the requirements. The "lazy monkey" was humorous but it would have been a more effective blog post if the steps were presented more professionally. I think it was a good creative tactic to have your participants think of silly/bad ideas, but I don't think they needed to be included in the post. It confused me as I began reading.It would have been useful for the reader to see pictures of your participants in action doing the sketches and organizing the ideas. It was a good idea that you provided background information on your topic before the session and I commend the amount of ideas you were able to achieve with a smaller group.

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This page contains a single entry by altxx045 published on November 18, 2013 6:39 AM.

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