Brainstorming

My General Ideas

Before hosting a brainstorming session, I spent some time thinking of ideas on my own. Below are some pictures of product ideas I came up with.

New Warm-up Game

We played a few warm-up games before we began our brainstorming session. I created a warm-up game that was a twist of the game “clams are great because…”. It was also done in a group instead of in partners. One person would start and say, for example, “hot chocolate is great because it’s warm”, and would point to another person in the group who would think of something else that’s great because it’s warm (for example, blankets!). This was passed between the members in the group as quickly as possible, trying to see how many items we could come up with in a minute. This was repeated 4–5 times.

Session Organization

Participants
Allison is a student studying mechanical engineering. She was born with a growth defect in her left leg — her calf muscle and lower limb is much smaller than her right. She has been wearing orthotics her whole life. Because her left leg is a little short than her right, the only sport she has been able to do is swimming.

Kirthica is a student studying psychology and biology. She plans on pursuing optometry, and has an interest in eye prosthesis as well.

Vivek is a student studying biomedical engineering and wants to work directly with prosthesis after graduation. He was a volunteer at Mayo Clinic’s prosthetic center this past summer.

Adam is a student studying mechanical engineering, and is VERY good at technical things. I figured he’d be able to give some good insight about the mechanics and possibilities of improving prosthesis.

Deneen is student studying urban studies and civil engineering. She is one of the most empathetic people I know, and is very good at noting what people would want/feel in regards to self confidence. She also has great technical skills.

Setting

I held the brainstorming session in the living room/dining room of my apartment. My apartment has a big, empty wall that is perfect for putting up sticky notes and for brainstorming. I provided pumpkin muffins halfway through the session for some dopamine. :)

Warm-up Games

We played warm-up games for about 10 minutes. We first played Zip-Zap Zop, because that’s a simple and easy one. We then moved on to word association, followed by word disassociation. We ended with my made up warm-up game. My group really enjoyed word disassociation!

Idea Generation

We brainstormed for about 25 minutes. I brought in some techniques from class — we first did general brainstorming, and then I had them put themselves in characters’ shoes for inspiration and ended with abstract word inspiration. Between the 6 of us, we came up with 52 ideas. The IPM was 0.35.

Sorting and Voting

For sorting and voting, we first sorted them without talking for about 5 minutes. Then we began to discuss, and finally sorted them into groups. The group categories were: Materials, Mechanics, Aesthetic, Function, and Unrealistic. Using sharpies, everyone got 4 stars to mark their favorite product ideas.

Top Ideas

Credit for each image:

Looks like skin + repels water: Me + Allison
Decorative Sleeves: Adam
Gripping Texture: Deneen
Mimic Hands: Deneen
Temperature Proof: Vivek
Collapsable: Deneen
Webbed Hands: Allison
Hands that Lock: Deneen
Implantable Eye: Kirthica
Extendable Arm: Kirthica

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.