Idea Selection and Pitch




Gold goes to the Reindeer Snowball Maker/Launcher!
Silver to the Modular Table
And a three way tie for Bronze between the Windshield HUD, Heated Center Console, and Steering Wheel Drum Set

Final Name:

I made a list of possible/pun based names and here's the top options:

  • Snowball Shooter

  • Sleigher-er

  • Rambo Reindeer

  • Snowball Slingshot




Idea Evaluation



I set up a google form to survey and rank my top ten ideas from last week in order to narrow down to my new "top five".

  • I asked survey participants to rate each idea's novelty, feasibility, and marketability on a scale of 1 to 5.

  • I asked if they would buy it for themselves and/or for someone else.

  • I asked how much they would pay for the idea.

The results looked something like this:



My new top five is as listed below:

  1. Reindeer Snowball Maker
  2. Windshield Heads-up Display
  3. Modular Table
  4. Heated Center Console
  5. Steering Wheel Drum Set


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I compiled the information from the survey into graphs like the one below to more accurately price each idea.


estimated cost of production:

  1. Reindeer Snowball Maker - $5

  2. Windshield Heads-up Display - $50-100

  3. Modular Table - $25-50

  4. Heated Center Console - $10

  5. Steering Wheel Drum Set - $

Structured Idea Generation


Hey everyone!
Hope you had a good weekend at the Gopher/Badger game and that you're excited about the upcoming holidays.

If you haven't checked out my blog/topic yet it is "Family Gatherings". Can't wait to hear your critiques.


My archetypal product for my category was the family cookbook. I tried to explore the many purposes of the cookbook in a family gathering and see if I could apply SCAMPER to pull away some creative insights.









For my TRIZ exploration, I examined the role of the dining table and ways of improving its form/uses. I realized that one of the most difficult parts of having family over for a large meal is that our furniture rarely can hold everyone comfortably. In the case that we do have a table large enough to appropriately serve an extended family over Christmas, it becomes excess when the guests are no longer around.

Areas of Issue

6. Area of Non-moving object

35. Adaptability

Possible Solutions

15. Dynamics

  • make an object or its environment automatically adjust for optimal performance
  • divide an object into elements which can change position relative to each other
  • if an object is immovable, make it movable or interchangeable

16. Partial or overdone action

  • if it is difficult to obtain 100% of a desired effect, achieve somewhat more or less to greatly simplify the problem

Ideas produced from TRIZ:



Idea Review

My Top Ten


Reindeer Snowball Maker (Week 2)
Feasible: Yes
Usable: Maybe
Novel: Yes


Knuckle Tattoo Gloves (Week 2)
Feasible: Yes
Usable: Yes
Novel: Yes


Heated Center Console for Car (Week 5)
Feasible: Yes
Usable: Maybe
Novel: Maybe


Steering Wheel Drum Set (Week 2)
Feasible: Maybe
Usable: Maybe
Novel: Yes


Sibling Bed Divider (Week 4)
Feasible: Yes
Usable: Maybe
Novel: Maybe


Windshield Heads-Up Display for Traffic/Directions (Week 2)
Feasible: Maybe
Usable: Yes
Novel: Yes

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Modular Table (Week 5)
Feasible: Yes
Usable: Yes
Novel: Yes

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Cookbook Drying Rack (Week 5)
Feasible: Yes
Usable: Maybe
Novel: Maybe


Snowman Plow (Week 2)
Feasible: Maybe
Usable: Maybe
Novel: Yes


Food Molds of Favorite Winter Holiday Floats (Week 2)
Feasible: Yes
Usable: Maybe
Novel: Yes



I started this assignment by going back and revising my problem statements from last week. I ended on two "How might we..." statements that would be good design topics for my brainstorming session

How might we please every family member's needs/wants at a family gathering?

How might we enjoy long car rides more?

Now here's where things got a little more fun.

After last week's classroom exercise, I still felt as though people held back from sharing ideas in fear of having their ideas judged. I began exploring different ways that I feel more comfortable with a group and situations in which I felt comfortable saying the unusual. The more and more examples I came up with, the more I realized that there was a common trend; I tended to be much more open, explorative, and willing to contribute to conversation after a couple drinks.

So what happens when you give a brainstorming group a couple drinks before they start coming up with solutions?

Definitely more willing volunteers...

Meet the brainstorming group:

Senior in Chemistry

Senior in Physics

Senior in Biology

Junior in Biochemistry

I started the group brainstorming with a spin-off of the MacGyver game. I gave the four guys an assortment of objects and had them create a game to facilitate faster consumption of a beverage of their choice. We then relaxed a little to let everything set in.

We moved to a smaller room with a long table and began the brainstorming. I reintroduced the prompts and had the four start coming up with ideas.
First, I just let them come up with ideas with no real direction or point of view for about 10 minutes. I then followed this up by assigning personalities to design as for 5 minutes. Finally, I asked them to come up with impossible ideas for 5 minutes. I repeated these steps for the second prompt.

The Results

Here are the top 5 as voted on by the members of the group:

Please Everyone

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Car Ride

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Ethnographic Research


The goal of this assignment is to find opportunities, needs, latent needs, problems, or areas for improvement/change. I will be focusing on the sub-theme of family gatherings. To do this I will be doing some ethnographic research to better understand the users and the market. I conducted research using three different approaches: asking, observing, and experiencing.

ASKING: I interviewed three people about family gatherings and collected their thoughts below. I tried a few different interviewing styles: having the individual tell me a story, intentionally using silence to force interaction, and asking only variations of "why".

Interview 1: Mackenzie- Coffee Enthusiast and "Family Gathering Planner"

  • Moderate sized extended family

  • Really close

  • Get together at least once a year

  • Loves holidays because she gets to see everyone

  • Her mom used to organize many of the larger family events and she started helping at a very young age

  • She enjoys the challenge of keeping a variety of ages and types of people active and happy when together

  • Her best memories for family gatherings relate to family trips

  • Big challenge choosing a location that will please everyone

  • Always have someone who doesn't feel involved

  • Because they didn't have any input into the location/activities

  • Because it is difficult to manage multiple people's preferences for activities

Interview 2: Jake - Book Worm and Timid Holiday Traveler

  • Smaller extended family

  • Often see entire extended family for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas

  • Travel to single location like Grandparent's house

  • Because it is a centralized location

  • Because his family is spread around the Mid-West

  • Likes getting to see family

  • Really dislikes the traveling aspect of the holidays

  • Can't stand stop and go traffic

  • Because there is always construction on the highways

  • And because no one prepares for the route delays

  • Hates being cramped into a small car with his family

  • Because he's tall and is always stuck in the back seat

  • And he can't move

  • And he doesn't get to decide when and where he gets to stop

  • *silence*

  • Jake won the silent competition at this point and the interview may have gotten a little sidetracked.

Interview 3: Aspen - Lonely College Student

  • Moderate sized extended family

  • Not extremely close

  • Normally spend time with immediate family for holidays

  • Has never attended a family gathering outside of parents and one sibling

  • Doesn't understand why anyone would want to spend time with a very large group of people (sensing a little bit of sarcasm in voice)

  • Never really had an opportunity to meet many of her extended family

  • Because they live on the other side of the country

  • Because half of her family moved out there during the 80's

  • Not really sure why

  • Does feel bad because she knows that she should know more about her family

  • (I feel like I stirred up something that I might not be able to solve)

  • Might try to start a family gathering

  • Doesn't know where to start

My family gets a little crazy whenever we are together. Somehow something always breaks or goes hilariously wrong, kind of like a comedy.This is what I think about every time my family plans big family gatherings.


Mackenzie needs a way to poll family members' wants and needs because it is difficult to plan gatherings that are pleasing to every attendant.

Jake needs a way to travel to his grandparent's house because he is constantly encountering construction and delays.

Aspen needs a way to break the ice with extended family because she has never met many of them and would like to bring everyone together.

Mind Mapping and Silly Ideas


I revisited the mind mapping of Winter and came up with my own version shown below.


I then selected two categories at random and attempted to create a fun idea by mixing them.


Snowball Fights + Christmas
My first two themes were snowball fights and christmas. My creative idea was to create a reindeer snowball maker. You insert snow into the reindeer's mouth and then lift up the tail to extrude a perfect snowball.


Pies + Parades
Next was to create pie molds that mimic our favorite parade floats.


Family Gatherings + Gloves
Family gatherings are always full of matching t-shirts and organized photographs. Why not make a spin off the classic family name t-shirts and apply them like a tattoo to gloves or mittens?


Football + Sledding
Ever want to sled faster than you've ever been able to? Worried about injuries? Not any more! With these extreme sledding pads you can feel much safer attempting that homemade jump or bombing that extra steep hill.


Family Gatherings + Hot Chocolate
Making hot chocolate for all the kids in the family can be a difficult task. How do you make sure to please all the family members? How about making an easy to use, easily personalized hot chocolate machine! Now anyone can create their favorite hot chocolate combination by just the press of a button. This machine even will add the whipped cream to top it all off.


Olympics + Pies
Celebrate your favorite countries Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals by enjoying a slice of pie from their region. These pie pans even include an award winning pie recipe from the country listed on the bottom of the pan.


Turkey + Sweater
Ever want the warmth of a jacket but the aesthetics of a sweater? Now you can have both! This sweater is just a little thicker than the average cardigan but is lined with a down quilting.


Gloves + Hot Chocolate
Hate dropping your travel mug because your gloves are slippery? This new extra grippy travel mug will grip even the smoothest materials.


Snowmen + Parades
This snowplow/float look-a-like will drive down an unplowed road leaving a parade of snowmen standing behind.


Hats + Cookies
This final sketch came to me after my first experience at Insomnia Cookies. I was walking back from Insomnia and my warm gooey cookie managed to cool off before I was able to eat it. With this hat and its hidden food compartment, whatever food is stored inside is kept warm by using the body's loss of heat through an individual's head.

Creative Experimentation


Cookies are always seen as bad or empty calories. They are also associated with not exercising. I wanted to create a healthy cookie that would be catered to people that exercise frequently. I based my cookie creation on healthy calories and choices that someone would want to have after a workout. I substituted traditional fats and sweeteners for items like almond butter and stevia.






Recipe (3rd try):
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 cup stevia
1/2 cup crushed almonds
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 splash of apple juice
1/2 apple chopped

First try:
Used almond milk, not enough flour, and no greek yogurt. Batter resembled muffin mix. Made muffins with the batter instead.

Second try:
Started with the flour. Mixed too much almond milk and cinnamon. Mix became too hard to mold into balls. Taste tested and was bitter. Scrapped batch.

Recent Comments

  • mart3028: I loved your presentation and product. It was fun, playful, read more
  • lesc0053: Your chart is very organized and easy to read, well read more
  • mixer014: Great graphs. They make it easy to see what was read more
  • muell829: Peter- Nice graphs! It makes your data very easy to read more
  • orrxx118: Your process is well laid out. The heads-up windshield display read more
  • nguy2045: Hi, This is by far, probably, the most interesting blog read more
  • ortiz087: Peter, first of all, Freakin' Genius idea to give out read more
  • ostre043: I thought your organization of the blog post was pretty read more
  • pilgr028: Peter, I like how you organized each brainstorm into three read more
  • rhode125: I appreciated the way you chose to layout your blog read more

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