Have you ever hit a roadblock on a problem that seems unsolvable? No matter how many ways you look at it- the factors look the same without any possibility of a solution.
Luckily, there are multiple ideation methods that designers can use to solve nearly any problem.
As an assignment this week for a UX design class, I tested a few ideation methods to solve problems related to popular gaming apps: Candy Crush Saga, Trivia Crack, and Words with Friends 2.
Most methods focus on collaboration to gain new perspectives. Working as a team is an effective way to learn from other cultures and minds. One example is creating a “mindmap”. In this method a central idea or a problem statement is placed in the center of the page and others are invited to build off this idea to create a web of ideas.
To demonstrate this idea in my assignment, I took the following statement:
Puzzle gamers need levels of gameplay that are of reasonable difficulty because they want to unlock new challenges.
In order to find some new ideas, I recruited my boyfriend and a co-worker for new ideas. I was surprised how quickly they were able to create new solutions that had never occurred to me.
There are also some individualized ideation methods that a designer can use when solving a problem. One of my favorite techniques is called “Worst Possible Idea”; which is a great step in eliminating anxieties when dealing with a different problem. The picture below is in response to the statement:
Word gamers need good quality solo gaming options because they want to improve their word building skills in individual challenges.
I found that while this method was not particularly successful in creating any viable solutions, it helped as a motivation tool to generates other reasonable ideas.
Another good solo technique is “sketch” which, as the name states, involves sketching your solution on a piece of paper. I find that it is valuable to ask someone what they think the concept is because that makes your idea more understandable.
For this example, I drew what I thought was a viable solution to the problem:
Trivia gamers need questions with good phrasing because questions can be confusing without proper diction”
What I drew was a new function to Trivia Crack where users can press an “alert button” when coming across confusing or misleading questions. I asked my boyfriend to tell me what I drew. He guessed, “Bold the choice options” I suppose I could work on my artistry!
The final ideation method I used on this assignment was “SCAMPER” an acronym used to help refocus on the product by asking several innovative questions. According to Rikke Friis Dam and Yu Siang Teo, the letters stand for
- Modify (Also Magnify and Minify)
- Put to another use
I asked myself a number of important questions: How can I replace functions within the app? (Substitute), Can I recruit other businesses with similar objectives to gain creative insight? (Combine), Can I put this app to another use?
To test the SCAMPER method, I took another statement:
Trivia gamers need a variety of topics because they want to be knowledgeable in a range of different categories.
I came up with some solutions below.
This method seemed to be the hardest concept for me as I am, admittedly, not the most tech-savvy individual. However, it did help me understand the proper questions to ask.
A full copy of my presentation can be found below:
Testing these different methods was a great activity for picking and choosing which methods work best for me. I found that I am a more collaborative and logical person, so mindmapping seemed best for my design research. Hopefully I am now better prepared for when those roadblocks occur.
Friis Dam , Rikke and Yu Siang Teo. “Introduction to the Essential Ideation Techniques Which Are the Heart of Design Thinking.” The Interaction Design Foundation, 2019 Retrieved from http://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/introduction-to-the-essential-ideation-techniques-which-are-the-heart-of-design-thinking.
Friis Dam, Rikke and Yu Siang Teo. “Learn How to Use the Best Ideation Methods: SCAMPER.” The Interaction Design Foundation, 2018 Retrived from http://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/learn-how-to-use-the-best-ideation-methods-scamper.