Great ideas are often born out of great ideation sessions.

5 great ideas for better ideation

Great ideas are often born out of great ideation sessions. Read on for five tips that are essential to getting them right.

Ask any designer what important elements their process includes, and they’ll most likely mention ideation. But what does successful ideation actually look like, and how can anyone ensure that their ideation sessions result in viable ideas that create real change?

In gearing up to inspire 240 students at Hyper Island’s Ideation Week , our Lead Designer, Lasee Underbjerg came up with five tips for great ideation. Whether you’re an ideation novice or a concept-generating pro, here are some here are some new guidelines we recommend.

1. Design like you give a damn

If you’re going to put your time and effort into creating something new, then don’t strive to recreate the past; rethink the future! Design is not about beautification. It’s a tool for change. Think about how your new ideas could lead to disruption on an organizational or even a societal level! The basis for any good ideation requires challenging the ordinary, asking why, and being prepared to get your hands dirty. It’s not just about creating great design but about passionately striving to change the world for the better.

2. Foster new connections

While most people think that new ideas are born out of a stroke of genius, that’s not necessarily the case. There’s no point in waiting for a ‘light bulb moment.’ Some of the best ideas are sometimes born out of combining two ordinary things in a new way.

The individuals who are good at generating ideas are simply good at making connections. How so? Through teamwork and collaboration of course, but also through divergent ideation techniques like free association, forced comparisons and cross-fertilization, and linking seemingly unrelated things. Making unexpected connections usually turn out more powerfully than obvious ones.

3. Make it human-shaped

At Designit, our ultimate mission is to create a human-shaped world where everything is designed around real human needs. This means making human-shaped products and services, systems and spaces that help everyone live healthier, smarter, more enjoyable, and more meaningful lives.

The world is already full of crappy design, but designers can make an impact, by re-imagining the human shaped systems of the future. When ideating, remember that problems can be complicated, but solutions should not. Strive to make things simple — radically simple. And always aim to formulate ideas that make real impact for real people.

4. Explore novelty

From VR, AI and conversational interfaces, to driverless cars and mixed material printing, there’s a lot of stuff out there that might seem “crazy” but in fact is just around the corner. It’s important to explore the possibilities of emerging technology to see what new connections, and ultimately new ideas can be sparked. Just remember, that even if it seems ‘far fetched’, it’s not necessarily far off.

5. Be wrong

Think about how different the world would be if we celebrated, or at least openly talked about, our failures as much as we did our successes. We’re often so quick to equate being wrong with failure, that we miss out on the learnings and growth that can be had when we inevitably make mistakes.

When ideating, expect that there are times when you’ll make mistakes, where you’ll fail or just be plain wrong. In a world where continual experimentation is the new normal, being wrong is a natural part of the process. Focus on turning the pain into progress. And remember, radical ideas need to be wrong, in order to be right. Otherwise, they’re not radical — they’re just incremental.

Do you have any other ideation tips you’d like to recommend? We’d love to hear about them!

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