Assignment 4


Family Gatherings: Blue Sky Ideation

I began this assignment by changing two of problem statements into 2 "How Might We..." statements:

How might we encourage meaningful interaction between people of all ages at a family gathering?

How might we document the event to create a meaningful keepsake?

I created a game to encourage playfulness and start generating creative thinking:

"Common Ball"

How to play: One person has a ball and thinks of a broad category while the others stand in front of him/her. The other people then must pick a more specific concept from that category and keep it in their minds. The person with the ball then throws the ball into the air and yells a specific concept from their selected category. They keep doing this until they guess someone's idea. If someone's idea is called, they have to race to catch the ball while everyone else runs as far away as possible and yell "Stop!" once they have it. Everyone must freeze.Then, the person with the ball get three steps to hit the closest person with the ball. If they succeed, the person hit gets a letter. The first person to get C-O-M-M-O-N loses, because no one wants their ideas to be "common."

For example, if the leader picked category of "Warm beverages," some of the more specific terms could be: apple cider, hot chocolate, coffee....etc.

Here are members of my brainstorming session playing "Common Ball!"

Jess, Michelle, Sarah, and Elise participated in my brainstorming session.

After the game, they were each given a sticky note pad to sketch on.

We started with How might we encourage meaningful interaction between people of all ages at a family gathering? and spent 20 minutes on it and then moved onto
How might we document the event to create a meaningful keepsake?

When the brainstormers got stuck, I added more prompts to make it more specific for them.

Ideas are building up


Organizing the ideas
organizing ideas.JPG

The girls' IPM averaged 2. IPP=.5

We used the silent sorting method and grouped the ideas from each categories into the following:
1. Encouraging Meaningful Interaction

  • Games

  • Technology

  • Physical Activities

2. Documenting Memories

  • Phone Apps

  • Video/Photo Software

  • Artistic/Hands-On Methods

My group then voted on the most popular ideas by talking about which ones they liked the most and sorting them into a "top 10" category verbally.
Here are the best sketches they came up with:

1. Encouraging Meaningful Interaction:

(Jess) Sketch 1.jpeg
(Sarah)Sketch 2.jpeg
(Jess)Sketch 3.jpeg
(Sarah)Sketch 4.jpeg
(Sarah)Sketch 5.jpeg

2.Documenting Memories:

(Jess) Sketch 6.jpeg
(Michelle) Sketch 7.jpeg
(Sarah) Sketch 9.jpeg
(Michelle) Sketch 8.jpeg
(Sarah) Sketch 10.jpeg

Overall, I think my brainstorming group was a bit puzzled about the problems or how to create something innovative that could improve family gatherings (it's a difficult topic). But that's okay--that's my job! I think we still generated some good ideas that I will look into further for possible product opportunities--like facial recognition, holographic family members, and an app where everyone could keep updated on the party's events.


First and Foremost, how are you defining "family". The term has evolved to include people who are not blood related, therefore the relation to you is family, but people may be strangers to one another in the group. This would drastically effect the interaction at these gatherings. You said for "How might we document the event to create a meaningful keepsake?" that you added prompts to get the flow going again, What were these prompts? It was nice that you not only color coated people to post-its, but also included their name on top rather than making a key. It means less scrolling to look at the key then the drawing to figure out who it is which is much appreciated. The last part you mention that your group was puzzled by the problem statements. Do you think by rewording the "How might we" would have helped at all?


Good job organising everything. Your documentation with picture is very clear where I can read and keep track with most of the things. However, I think some fix might help readers understand more of what you did. First of all, stating backgrounds of people in your group might have helped for people to understand the environment. Second, describe clearly what you have done to help them out of "idea stuck" position. Thirdly, you could have said a little more of what you learn and experience you have learned from doing this. You could add more to each activities of why did you do that. For example, you create the improv game for what reason.

I thought your blog was nicely laid out and easy to follow. Your game seems like it would be good at getting people to move around and speak up, but I'm not 100% sure I understand how to play. How do they know if they've guessed someone's idea? Regardless it looks like your brainstorming group had fun with it, and that's what counts. I also was interested what prompts you gave your group to get them unstuck and maybe what past experience each of them had with family gatherings. Not a full interview or anything but just a sentence or two about whether or not it's part of their traditions. I thought you had some great ideas come out of your session! Nice job!

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This page contains a single entry by rieb0055 published on November 18, 2013 9:11 AM.

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