Creating nightstand ideas

Individual Idea Generation:

How Might We…

When deciding on a how might we statement, I wanted to come up with a couple of different options so that I still wanted to explore a couple of different avenues of where I could take this prompt. I also wanted to do a few takes so that I could more accurately narrow in on the idea I wanted to convey and hash out the most useful wording. I also figured having a few variations of the prompt might help to change up the brainstorming session I host when people start to run out of ideas. Introducing a “new” prompt might help them to see the problem in a different light and then think of new ideas. In the end, I think that this one conveys the idea the best while leaving enough room to ‘think outside the box’:

How might we design a sturdy space to keep a phone and charging cord easily accessible from a bed?

Individual Ideation

Using the ‘How might we…’ statements from above, I came up with the following ideas for potential solutions on my own:

New Warm-Up Game:

Who IS This?

Who IS This? is a warm-up game where groups taking turns explaining to each other who a person is. To describe who the person is, participants can describe any part of the person’s lifestyle, events, jobs, family, physical features, personality, or any other part of a person’s life! Together a persona is created for a person that can be built upon or changed with every person. After going around about 3 times, the process starts over so that a new persona is created. Pictures can be added to serve as a base for the person, or it can be completely imaginary. This game shows a good example of ‘Yes, and’ as each participant has to accept what the others have said, and usually builds off of their ideas to give their own creative twist on the persona.

Group members playing Who IS This?

Session Organization:

For this session, I got four other people to meet up and help me to brainstorm ideas for solutions to my ‘how might we…’ statement as well as branching out into more useful nightstands in general. For participants I was able to get a wide array of people to participate in my brainstorming session. They

ANNA, Junior in Psychology

MITCHELL, Freshman in Mechanical Engineering

IZZY, Sophomore in Biology

JASON, Sophomore in Computer Science


This diversity in background really helped them to feed off of one another’s ideas to produce a large and differing array of ideas. We met in an updated common room in a university residence hall. This provided enough space that everyone could feel open and unconstrained, and was empty so we didn’t have to worry about volume. We sat around a table in a corner so that we had easy access to lots of wall space to put post-its on. I started the session by having everyone introduce themselves in a standard ‘name and major’ way to try to initially break the ice between them because this is a safe and familiar thing to do.

Playing ‘Wha!’

After that, I started to lead them through three different warm-up games. To start, I chose to play ‘Wha!’. I figured this game is a good start to loosen inhibitions and mental states. Second, I lead us in playing the game that I made up- ‘Who IS This?’. I thought that this would be a good mid-level game that would get their minds thinking more dynamically while still having a wide array of options to choose from so there was no pressure. To finish warming up, we played ‘Red Ball’ because I think that that game is really fun and gets the participants to start thinking creatively even without being told to.

Brainstorming resulting in idea generation at .70 IPM

After being warmed up, I gave some background on the topic that we would be working with, then gave them my ‘how might we…’ statement as a prompt. We brainstormed solidly for a half hour so I did not feel the need to ever do any of the techniques for breaking any creativity blocks. I added ideas in as well and strategically introduced some of my own ideas into the mix to help them think of the different aspects that I have found with this topic such as placing it on a bed vs. desk vs. wall as the different forms the “nightstand” could take. We ended up with 95 responses at .70 IPM.

Sorting and Voting:
Moving ideas into categories

To sort the ideas, we followed the silent sorting method to arrange them into categories without having time to pre-select categories. With this, we ended up with 10 categories. These included: Phone Holders, Consumables, Lights, Charging, Accessories, Design, Reminders, Head ware, Hanging, and Alarms. Once all of the ideas were sorted into these categories, we moved into voting. For this, I gave everyone 5 votes each for the categories of Best idea, Coolest (most creative idea), and Feasible (most likely to be see on an actual store shelf).They voted using their colored sharpies.

Voting for ideas

Top Ideas:
These two ideas adapted from Mitchell


To finish this assignment, I plan on writing my new “What if” statements and planning my warm-up game tomorrow (10/19) so that I can use them to finish the individual idea generation by Sunday (10/22). This leads up to hosting my brainstorming session on Monday (10/23) where I will do the group brainstorming and sorting/voting. That night I will redraw the top ideas while they are still fresh in my mind. Finally, Tuesday (10/24) I will finish up my blog.