Assignment 4



As a first step, I converted my 2 problem statements based on my two personas into "How Might We" questions as below:

(1) Jill a 25 years old young woman needs a way to motivate herself towards more nutritious and healthy winter diet because she is very health conscious and worries about the weight gain due to heavy meat and junk food consumption during winter.

How might we motivate people towards healthy food consumption in winter?

(2) Samuel, a 35 years old man needs a way to increase physical activity and consume more water than beverages during winter because he doesn't want to compromise on his usual heavy dose of winter junk food which he really relishes.

How might we motivate people towards increased physical activity in winter?

Right off the bat, we can quickly realize that these are the research questions of biggest concerns in public health domain in the entire world and lots of health based companies have been struggling to come up with product ideas or even solutions that can motivate people towards healthy food and physical activity in general and especially in winter. In that note, I decided to facilitate this brainstorming session with 5 people in Mayo Clinic Campus who are mostly my colleagues. They are Arvin Arani (Medical Physicist), Bogdan Dzuybak (BME PhD Student), Matylda Mazur (Physician Resident), Shi Yu (Radiology Fellow) and Soudabeh Kargar (BME PhD Student) as seen below during action.

Group  Names.jpg

I made PowerPoint slides to guide me through the brainstorming session as shown below.

PDES 5701_Brainstorming_WinterDiet.pptx

I made sure of important points to note such as IPM, to keep them active etc. to facilitate the session. I also planned to critique my facilitation after the session was over to gauge my level being the first time so that I can improve on myself as I indeed want to be a new medical device product design engineer/physician for my career as these skills are very handy, no doubts!


Ever since the assignment for brainstorming was announced I was nervous as to how to get people as I had hard time to get 3 people for interview as Mayo Clinic campus where I work have extremely busy people and neighbors next door in my apartment are mostly introverts and never see them. I then pessimistically approached my colleagues in my Radiology department in Mayo Clinic and somehow I managed to convince 5 of them conditionally if hot pizzas were offered. Here we go! Since the session time was decided to be 1-2.30 pm on Saturday I thought it was a fair game to feed them with pizzas and energize them to harvest their ideas. The first few minutes we spent time chatting and eating. Then I started with our usual ZIP-ZAP-ZOP warm up as I didn't want to scare them away with my new warm up game "The Aeii Oii Challenger Game". They were all super excited after the zip zap zop game and I really didn't want to distract that attention. But I tried my new game and believe me or not they hated me! Just like zip zap zop game I thought starting with Aeii in low tone and pointing to someone, that person increases the tone/pitch of Aeiiiiiii and points to other who increases further and the cycle goes until it ends with Hmmm. I tried it myself before implementing it wasn't bad but for some reason they didn't like it. I have it videotaped so that I could get a feel on how that went to improve later on. After these warm ups I showed the problem question and asked them to come up with product ideas and thoughts for 15 min. I repeated the same for the second problem.

Here is the snapshot of the ideas on the white board!

Ideas on Board.JPG

As I skimmed through the ideas I realized the mistake I made. I shouldn't have put the Jill and Samuel personas on the slides as they were focusing on them alone and had merely lots of suggestions and advice rather than product ideas to help with their problem. I consider it as a huge blunder as a facilitator, but the reason I did that way was due to inspiration from people in Logic Product Design group who did brainstorming by having us generating ideas for snowmobile. I thought of imitating them and ended up here. However, I was able to hand pick 10 of them 5 from each group. Almost all of their ideas did not have sketches and title. I ran into this problem and was stuck but acted on it soon. Since they were all hard workers they all were here on Sunday afternoon for their usual weekend work. I went with my hand picked ideas and got them straightened to some extent. We did sort them and categorize those ideas.

For the problem how might we motivate people towards increased physical activity in winter, here are some ideas I picked:

(1) Do you want to look yourself fit, pretty and healthy? Don't worry this is how you will look with our "Virtual Best fit Personality". Get it and feel it! - Shi Yu


(2) Sorry, really sorry. We are really really sorry. We make this most beautiful dress only with this size (waist, chest etc but different heights possible). Don't you wish your physique fits it? - Matylda Mazur


(3) How about you workout while you do your office work? No kidding! - Arvin Arani


(4) Stop! Stop! Stop! Dont' eat! This is what this device (Calorie Meter) says when you exceed your set limit of calories - Shi Yu


(5) Oh well, how about you get paid while you work out by generating electricity? "Group Exercise Power Factory " - Soudabeh Kargar


For the problem how might we motivate people towards healthy food in winter, here are some ideas I picked:

(6) Hey! Hey! I am watching you eat! Hey! Hey! I am watching you move! How does it sound to you when we declare the launching of an app that becomes your "Mobile Monitor" saying the above? -- Matylda Mazur


(7) Are you tired of being Junkophilic? You can't resist yourself dumping junk foods into your fridge? Here is our new "Junk Monitor" that trashes your junk food in your fridge - Shi Yu


(8) Stress, stress stress! Is junk food calling you when being stressed out? Try our "Stress Meter" that provides alternative health food options based on your stress level!
- Shi Yu


(9) Do you need someone behind you to keep track of your nutrition? Here is your buddy "Nutrimeter" that plays out your nutrition profile everyday! - Matylda Mazur


(10) Out of options for healthy food choice? Don't worry, we will ship you the health diet you need at your door steps! - Arvin Arani


I kept track of the IPM every 10 min and the overall IPM for the group was 0.587 (with 88 ideas, 5 people in group and 30 min of idea generation). Also after the session was over I asked them to rate me on my facilitation skill with 0 being the worst and 5 being extraordinary. All of them voted me with a 3. I was very excited as it was my first time leading brainstorming session. They had lots of suggestions for me to engage them better with the activity, better improv warm up games etc.

Experience and feedback:

Overall, this assignment was a fun filled activity. I had lots to learn from mistakes which could have duly improved the session. While one can admit that solving winter diet and physical activity problem is more of a challenging problem to solve, I can safely say that I did have fun exploring this topic. One thing I learned was that, it would have been way better if I had the session with people whom I don't know. Lots of time they got carried away from idea generation and although I attempted to keep them track I was not very successful. I asked them to do some sketching with a title for each idea and barely had one that met both request. I am sure I am pretty much ready to lead a brainstorming session with a list of do's and don'ts for myself to have a qualitative and quantitative fun filled session!


First of all I like how you derived your “How might we” statement. You involved the problem statement you found from the interview before you introduce the “How might we” statement. It makes me understand the problem easier and more clearly.
Second, the picture of your group with their names on side introduces the participants in an efficient way. From your introduce, your group is very professional in your topic. The good thing is they must have professional knowledge and can generate a lot off useful idea based on their knowledge and experience. Coin has both side, maybe they will limited by their professional knowledge and hard to have crazy ideas. Maybe involve some people have different background, even have no knowledge about the physical health will induce with the professional people and give you some surprise ideas.
Third, I like your ppt and the critique parts of your brainstorming session. The critique session helps to improve the experience to be a facilitator. The slides show helps guide the group and the brainstorming process efficiently, even though it seems like you group ignore the point of “ draw the idea”. But I can understand it. For some people literature make things easier.

Your process in how you conducted your brainstorming session was fabulous. I think your powerpoint was a great element to include. It was also really helpful for me that you included your problem statements along with your how might we statements as well! I think that your participants were very well selected and it is nice that they were conveniently your colleagues as well. They're perfect for this topic! However, it would be nice to see a little variety in your how might we statements considering that they are somewhat similar and totally have the potential to be a little more out there and different from one another! I think that Pictures would have helped a lot more in the ideation process but I do understand that your participants are a little more concrete.

Overall, you did a great job of documenting your process.
Still, I would have liked to have seen what groups your ideas were sorted into to get a better understanding of the depth of your sub-theme.
It was great for you to include a powerpoint as a facilitator. I struggled with keeping my group on task. I feel that this was a great method to instill your assertiveness upon them right off the bat.
I also know you said that the personas were hurtful to your brainstorming session, but I think that was a nice touch to familiarize them with the design process and keep a consumer in mind.
I felt your biggest issue was the lack of pictures. A lot of your ideas already sounded less like products and more like actions. If pictures went along with these actions an actual product could have been realized much easier for blog readers to see on shelves in a store. However, I think that you can definitely take these actions for inspiration for products to fulfill the action.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by poiga001 published on November 18, 2013 5:08 AM.

Assignment 3 was the previous entry in this blog.

Assignment 5 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.