Ideation Techniques

Visualize Your Idea with these Mind Map Makers
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Design Thinking: Ideation

The third step in the design thinking process is ideation. As discussed in a previous post, ideation is part of the process where you approach the problem with an open mind and consider every possibility, combining both the rational and imaginative side of your brain.

As a quick reminder the five steps in the design thinking process is empathize, define, ideation, prototype, and test. The point of ideation is quantity over quality. After the ideation stage you’ll decide on which ideas you want to focus your attention, but at this stage you are choosing the right exercises to come up with as many new and innovative ideas as you possibly can. Generating many ideas helps pin-point areas that that might be the problem that hasn’t been seen yet.

The Lotus Blossom method: ideation on steroids | by Phil Delalande | UX  Collective
Design Thinking Process

Ideation Methods

Once the problem you’re working to solve has been identified there are various ideation techniques to explore. Using different techniques can bring out different solutions, but that doesn’t mean that every technique will work for every problem. It’s crucial to use a technique that works well with the ideas that you are trying to create.

Some of the more common ideation methods include:

Brainstorm – Work with others to build new ideas together and build ideas off of other ideas.

Braindump – Similar to brainstorm, however it is done alone and you share your ideas with others.

Brainwrite – The participants in the group write their ideas down on paper, and after a few minutes pass it on to other participant who will elaborate on the first person’s idea.

Brainwalk – Similar to brainwrite, however instead of passing around pieces of paper, the participants walk around the room.

Worst Possible Idea – Instead of suggesting an idea you’re worried might not be good enough, suggest the worst idea you have.

These are only a few of the numerous techniques. I will now use a few of these techniques to find solutions to the POV questions I created about three drawing apps.


POV Statements


  • Procreate needs to create an edit history button because users want to back track on edits they made without needing to undo everything between the edit and the most recent edit.
  • Users need an eraser dropping tool because users don’t want to manually erase a large part of their work.

Digital Painting:

  • Users need a clipping feature because users don’t want to alpha lock their layers when they want to clip them.
  • Digital painting needs to add features that allow users to create animated art because many users want to create moving pieces of art.

Drawing Desk:

  • Drawing Desk need to stop having pop ups while users are drawing because users get annoyed when a pop up is telling them to get the premium version and makes them not want to use the app.
  • Users need the ability to draw on the images because the app emphasizes the ability to draw and edit images that have been uploaded but users say that is false information.

The Take Away

Ideation is the crucial aspect of the Design Thinking process. There are numerous ideation techniques, and I only described a few of them and used other techniques. It’s important to remember that not all techniques work for every problem. For these problems, I used brain-dumping, sketching, and mind-mapping.

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