Assignment #4


For the brainstorming session, I found it pretty difficult to get a wide range of people that were all free for an hour. Good thing I have five other roommates that wanted to help me out! The people involved in the session are all pictured here:


From the left to the right there's Xavier, Emily, Simge, Anna, and Becca (who originally was reluctant to do the brainstorming, which explains her face...)

To start off, we did an improv game that I made up, kind of going off the "Red Ball" game we learned at Huge. The game was to throw an invisible object at another person in the circle, making the noise that the object would make. The other person would have to then pretend to be hit by a completely different object, and make the noise that that object would have made. People ended up getting really into it, and Xavier even fell on the ground at one point after getting "hit" by an especially heavy object.


QUESTION ONE: How might we make the holiday shopping experience easier and quicker to navigate?

After we were playful and in a creative mood, I set them up with markers and index cards. I had to explain a couple times that no, they didn't have to be possible, and that actual products were encouraged (Emily insisted that the best products were phone apps), but then we were on our way!
For the 20 minute session, we averaged about 0.42 ideas per minute.

I mainly chose the ideas that people had voted for the most. It was surprising how many ideas people thought were both useful and creative! Here are a couple favorites.

My idea: a shopping cart that checks items out as you put them in the cart.

Simge's idea: a scanner that tells you the quality of a product before you buy it.

My idea: a scanner that tells you which employee in a store is the best.

Anna's idea: a search app that you type a keyword into and it tells you where it is in the store.

Emily's idea: an app that tracks how much money you still have left in your bank account instantly after purchasing items.

QUESTION TWO: How might we increase the emotional value or meaningfulness of a holiday gift?

This one seemed more difficult, because it dealt with something more personal. However, we got a lot more creative answers with this question, probably because there aren't too many products out there with the sole purpose of increasing emotional value. A lot of these ideas were also illegal, and involved a lot of stalking and breaking into people's homes. The average amount of ideas per minute was about 0.4 for the 20 minute session. Again, to pick my favorites, I mainly chose the ones who were voted for most. Here they are!

Emily's idea: a book with a page for every day of the year. On each page there's something like "for a good memory of the two of us, turn to page 105" or "Turn to page 33 for a funny joke"

Simge's idea: pheromones to put on a gift so the person receiving it automatically liked the gift.

My idea: a service that sends people things from their favorite place/things that you can only get in a certain place.

Anna's idea: something that takes a homemade thing (card, poem, drawing, etc) and makes it look professionally finished.

Becca's idea: something that goes through a person's online shopping history (this is one of those more illegal ideas, but still useful!)

Everyone did a great job at coming up with creative ideas, and they were really supportive of everyone else's ideas, too! The biggest issue we had was people having side conversations about the ideas during the sessions, but that happened rarely. It was cool how much people got into it, and Becca even admitted that she had a fun time afterwards!



Though it was required by the guidelines not to have your roommates as participants, I think your idea generation session was very successful. Some of the participants even changed their attitude to brainstorming. I like all of the 5 ideas for the first question. They all look like something that I might want to use. For the second session, my favorite idea is pheromones on gifts!

I like the warm-up game that you come up with, it must be helpful in setting up the playful mood, and be another way to tell people not to be too serious and thinking only about things that are possible.

One thing that you might do better is to takes pictures of your ideas from further distance, so that your hands and/or camera wouldn’t leave shades on the images.

It sounds like your improv was pretty successful! did you do just the one game, or did you also try some we already know?

While it's not ideal to use all roommates, I think you were pretty successful with getting them into a creative mindset. I really like the scanner cart idea - that would really speed up holiday shopping, plus it could act as a price check you can bring with you!

There isn't a lot to critique - your pictures could be scanned instead of photographed, and you could have used a more varied group, but otherwise, everything looks really good.

It looks like your group came up with some really awesome ideas! Nice job facilitating and getting your participants engaged in the games in order to warm them up to brainstorm. I really enjoyed reading your blog!

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This page contains a single entry by crimm013 published on November 17, 2013 11:58 PM.

Assignment #3 was the previous entry in this blog.

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