Process Blog #4 — Ideation

The Process

This week, our sprint was focused on ideation, the generation of ideas and concepts in a relatively short time frame. I decided to focus my ideation on sustainable commuting, specifically focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion. To do so, I started by sketching 10 divergent ideas — all distinct and different from one another — in about 45 minutes. I then chose the most promising idea of those ten.

My most promising divergent idea: moving roads underground and collecting car emissions to use as fuel.

Once I had chosen my most promising divergent idea, based mostly off of what was the most novel and fun to work with idea, I drew 10 more sketches in 45 minutes, but this time the sketches converged — they were all variations of my most promising divergent idea. I then chose the most promising idea of those ten, based on the feasibility of my convergent ideas.

My most promising convergent idea: make the roof of the tunnel a giant emission collector and connect the collector to the car itself.

Ideation: So What?

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this project was the ability to create a number of different ideas in such a short amount of time, rather than feeling locked into one idea. Even in my convergent sketches, I found a lot of areas where I was able to create something new and different, while still remaining under the scope of my original promising diverging idea. At times, I did feel as though I got stuck and was drawing in circles, at which point I took a bit of a pause to think of fresh ideas, which nearly always came rather quickly, allowing me to move forward with an additional variety of ideas. In the future, I’d like to explore ideating with a partner or group, combining the principles of brainstorming and ideating to create many feasible ideas that can be tested in a short amount of time.

What’s Next?

I think that I could see myself using ideation in almost every aspect of my life. For example, a few friends and I are starting work on designing a video game, and the early portions of design will likely contain a lot of ideating to get an idea of what we want in terms of character and world design. Designing a web page is another situation where ideation may prove important, as skecthing out various layouts will surely help me decide on what I think is the best combination between aesthetically pleasing and functional. One of the only situations I could find ideation not being helpful is the case of writing code, where sketching out ideas of various approaches is not always more helpful than trying to make one idea work by tweaking it over and over.

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Amateur writer, mostly about football and the NFL draft. UW psychology grad. Asian-American.

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Alex Katson

Alex Katson

Amateur writer, mostly about football and the NFL draft. UW psychology grad. Asian-American.

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