Assignment 4


I began by revising my old problem statements to become more general and open-ended:

P1: Viktor needs a way to keep his hands warm in the winter while maintaining dexterity with his hands because he has trouble using his phone and iPod with his current, bulky gloves.

P2: Erin needs a weatherproof way to look professional while keeping her hands warm because she is a is looking to get hired professionally and encounters all sorts of elements on her commute.

I then turned these in to "How Might We...?" statements:

HMW1: How might we maximize dexterity while keeping our hands warm?

HMW2: How might we make professional looking glove that aids in the daily commute and business work?

Next, I assembled a crack team of brainstormers to assist me in the creative process. They were super excited to help out.

My team, over-enthused before our pre-storming game:

Due to personal time constraints, I wasn't able to gather a vastly diverse group but they came from different enough backgrounds (all involving cold weather at some point):

Viktor - College sophomore planning to major in kinesiology. He has lived most of his life in Sweden but has also spent years living in various parts of Asia.
Andrew - Senior undergrad here at the UofM, planning to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering. Andrew has lived in Minnesota his entire life.
Danny - Senior undergrad in sports management. Danny grew up in Calgary, CA and attended high school in northern Wisc.
Ken - Graduated with a degree in marketing last year and currently works for 3M in aerospace adhesives.
George (not pictured) - High school senior planning to attend college in North Dakota and study Aerospace engineering.

To get everyone warmed up and in a fun and creative mindset, I had them play I game I invented called The Game of Artistic Addition. For this game, everyone started out with a blank sheet of paper. Initially they were told to draw a random line or series of lines on the paper in no particular pattern, they then passed their sheet to the person to their right. They were then given 1 min to add to this drawing and turn it into a person or living creature. At the end of the min, they again passed the sheets on and were given another min to draw, this time thy had to have to person/creature holding/carrying an object. They repeated this process multiple times, each time adding something from a different theme that I'd make up; doing an action, saying something, showing an emotion, etc...

Here's an exaple of a final sheet:

This game did 3 important things:

  • Lightened the mood and created a more fun atmosphere.

  • Started the flow of creative juices

  • Got the participants comfortable with showing their sketching to the group members. This is very important for the brainstorming session.
  • With everyone ready to go, I started the brainstorming activities.

    For 25 min on each "How Might We...?" question, I had the participants sketch down product ideas. The time was divided up as follows: 8 min standard idea generation (things they may have been thinking about before coming in), 4 min bad idea generation (to get thinking in new a direction), 5 min silly idea generation, and finally 8 min of more serious ideas.

    Then, for the last 10 min, we did a silent categorization of the ideas. They organized them into phone-related products, devices that warm up electronically, gloves that move, etc...

    Throughout the session, to keep thinks light, I played some fun, upbeat background music which also kept people stimulated:


    When this portion was complete, I calculated the group to a an average IPM of about 0.8, with the first round averaging about .7 and the second round averaging .9. I had them each vote for their top 10 favorites in each category and found the most popular Ideas.

    Top 5 for "maximize dexterity while keeping our hands warm":





    Top 5 for "rofessional looking protection from the elements for our hands":







    Your friends look super-enthused - love it! Your 'how might we' statements are broad enough to allow creativity while still providing focus. I appreciate everything you did to keep the mood light. I especially enjoyed the game you created. I might play that on Thanksgiving! It sounds like it could be quite funny. Some of these products sound very viable and I'd really like to have them for winter commuting!

    I really liked your improv game! It was great that it got them comfortable with sketching in front of each other. In my brainstorming session that game definitely could have helped my group who often avoided drawing pictures.

    I think you ended up with some really creative ideas! For the bus fare dispenser idea, could it also have a pocket or slit to hold a bus pass for commuters that have u-passes?

    Your IPMs were pretty good too! However, I think it could have helped to elaborate on some of your idea pictures with a sentence or two of explanations.

    Lastly, it could have been helpful to document the process of the brainstorming and sorting with pictures of the group and the categories you all decided on.

    Sorry for the late comment. For some reason your blog wasn't showing up for me on Tuesday night. Glad I checked back.

    I really liked your first "how might we?" statement. I thought it was broad enough to encourage some creative solutions, while also drawing attention to the primary customer needs.

    I think the last half your second "how might we?" statement was pretty vague ("...aids in the daily commute and business work"), and I'm not sure how much it would help in the idea generation stage. What is business work? What functions does that require? What are some of the needs of people in business work and daily commutes? I think being a little more specific on functionality here could have provided fuel for more ideas.

    I also liked the format of your brainstorming session. It seemed like you were changing the format fairly regularly, and always giving participants a new angle on idea generation.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by raft0011 published on November 18, 2013 12:12 AM.

    Assignment 3 was the previous entry in this blog.

    Assignment 5 is the next entry in this blog.

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