Assignment 4



I started this assignment by converting my problem statements into "How might we" statements.

  • How might we reduce the stress experienced during holiday shopping?

  • How might we help a customer who is buying a gift in a category they do not fully understand to choose a good gift?

I had a hard time getting a group together on my own, so a few of us teamed up to find enough people from outside the class. My brainstorm used both the people from outside the class, and the people I teamed up with, for a total of about 7 people.

As a group, we did two improv games: Red Ball, and Kitty wants a corner. Then, each classmate did their own improv game with the group at the beginning of their two parts. I began my portion of the brainstorming with a game similar to clams are great. Each person would pair up with another, and then they would take turns listing off ways to accomplish a task - in this case, peel an orange. The ways could be reasonable, or they could be way out there. Some examples include: with your hands, by inserting a firecracker, with a freeze ray, by blowing on it. I told the participants to aim for speed (like clams are great).

I used the 6-3-5 method, however, I did allow talking, and shortened the five minutes to just 3. I think this worked quite well, however, it is not really well suited to the part of the assignment of posting in the same format as Assignment 2. I had some issues with people wearing out due to the long session, which my topic was at the end of. During the brainstorming, I tried to leave people to think on their own, but when it looked like ideas were getting harder, I would ask them to incorporate props, such as aluminum foil, or a pen.

I got plenty of silly ideas


I also had a little trouble, because I used a slightly different format than the prior facilitators; I asked people to rotate only when directed, and to come up with at least three ideas, but more was better. I told them to swap at three minute intervals. The prior facilitators used a more flexible plan of three ideas, then swap with anyone.

My sessions got a combined IPM (ideas per minute [per person]) of 1.13, which is great!

Top 10 Ideas:

How might we reduce the stress experienced during holiday shopping?






How might we help a customer who is buying a gift in a category they do not fully understand to choose a good gift?






I am unable to accurately give credit to those who created the above ideas, as I was not able to identify who wrote what by handwriting, and made no provision for easy future identification through pen or paper colors. This is definitely something I will remember for next time!

Video of part of the first session:


I liked your resourcefulness in finding a group in your other class. It might be cutting it to use your classmates from the same class but since you guys collaborated this could also be a good way to use outside/early class period time!

The directions gam seems like a fun and helpful way to transition into figuring out your ideas for shopping gifts. directions in your game can move over easily into directions for easy shopping.

The ideas seem interesting and really convenient tools, i would love to see more of an explanation how they might actually be applied or worked into real world situations. I know these are just suggested ideas but since they seem so (nicely!) out of this world, it'd be cool to see more reasonings how this would help.

Hey Andrew,

Nice blog! It's set up very simply, making it easy to digest. Your first couple photos were a bit blurry, making them difficult to understand so make sure you take the time to retake any photos that don't turn out. I know if I'm using a camera I always take at least two pictures for each shot I want which helps increase the chances of having a good photo.

Your brainstorming session seems like it went really well, other than the few set backs you already mentioned (people getting tired, not putting their name on their ideas, and also the fact that there were people from the class involved). Next time I would like to see more overall insights that you found, maybe general themes and whatnot. This would help the viewer better understand what you got out of the session.

Otherwise it looks like you did great and had a great IPM!


Hey Andrew,
I too ran into some issues with my brainstorming group. It would be a little more helpful if you went into a little more detail about responses or interpretations from the brainstorming session. The drawings were scanned well and it looks like you have some good ideas to expand upon for the next project.
I'm jealous of your IPM and your video. I definitely have some ideas for my next blog.

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This page contains a single entry by bens0468 published on November 18, 2013 8:20 AM.

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