The Ideation Process
Ideation, interpreted in lecture and studio, is a significant factor in brainstorming. My internship manager tasked me and my colleagues to brainstorm ideas to make commuting more accessible or more sustainable in the city of Greenville. I focused on innovating bus transportation because many people use buses for commuting, and sustainable improvements made to buses can greatly reduce traffic congestion and their environmental footprints. Choosing to further the sustainability aspect of commuting, I drew ten Divergent Ideation sketches of potential bus designs, offering a variety of different ideas to later use. Then, through the process of Convergent Ideation, I “converged” on a sketch that I thought could be further refined to be my initial, most promising design, and drew ten variations of it. Finally, I chose one of the convergent variations to be the most promising design overall, supported by a descriptive, practical explanation.
Ideation, a unique process, has pros and cons. The pros are that, without constraints, creativity flourishes, allowing researchers to produce different ideas ranging from practical methods to wild, fun concepts. In my personal experience, this Ideation task definitely promoted a higher level of critical thinking because it required a mindset for innovation and improvement. However, an unavoidable pitfall was the time pressure that we were given which actually inhibited creativity and limited innovative thinking. Another prevalent issue that I experienced was not knowing where to start because the task felt overwhelmingly open-ended. Fortunately, by learning about several mechanisms during studio such as adding constraints to spark ideas and adding text and labels on the Ideation sketches to overcome my creativity block, I set a restraint that narrowed my focus to improving the sustainability aspect of bus transportation and labeled each sketch with detail, providing me with a solid starting point.
A Future Application
The most appropriate application of Ideation in the future would be during a user-experience internship through which I am performing tasks that require novelty designs and ideas. For example, aiding my future user-experience team, I can utilize Ideation as I am identifying user needs and developing new product designs and concepts to address those needs. Similar to the HCDE 210 internship task where my colleagues and I strived to find sustainable and accessible methods of commuting for the city of Greenville, prototyping advanced technology such as the latest smartphone, sketching luxurious concept cars, and designing new clothing heavily involve Ideation. It can also be applied to informal occasions such as creative art. Though it is intuitive that everyone has his or her own creative process to be creative, Ideation provides an effective strategy to churn out new ideas for those who are new to the creative process and those who feel that they are not creative.