Conceptualizing, Sketching and Testing Ideas

Learning how to brainstorm properly can exponentially increase your ability to develop something truly fantastic and impactful. Think of this “brainstorming” as a muscle , which you have to run through the paces and make stronger through deliberate practice. I love brainstorming and have actually implemented it into my morning routine, where I create a design concept based on either news or something I’ve been thinking of. I then list out 10 ideas that could solve a particular issue I’m facing or a certain theme, for example “VR/AR Ideas”.

 

The book Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook gave me even more methods and ways to improve my brainstorming concepts.

I remember in the first class, we has to describe our favorite tools, and mine was my Moleskine and Pen, and have kept these two by my side wherever I go. I can relate a lot to this book. One thing I’d liek to start doing is creating a collection of physical objects that inspire me.

Actually, reading this book gave me a few ideas on the spot that I used their methods to ‘scribble sketch’ them out into my sketchbook.

 

Tom Igoe’s post on Making Interactive Art discussed an important point about when you have created an interactive piece of art, you should not ‘influence’ how the user should use it. Leave it to them to figure out. If it’s designed properly, the user should be able to figure out quite quickly how it is supposed to function, relying only on feedback loops. This reminds me of Steve Blank’s entrepreneurship concept of ‘Customer Development’. This process is to assess the viability of a particular business idea. Once your idea has conceptualized, and you have listed out your assumptions of your ideal customer, you develop a list of questions and begin to interview people that match that ‘ideal’ as closely as possible. It’s VERY important that you are not asking questions that lead them to answers that reinforce your assumptions. Rather, you want to leave it fairly open ended and have the potential user to discuss their way through frustrations with current products or services, as you might discover an issue with your original idea or find an entirely new problem that you’d want to solve.