This assignment was focused on generating numerous improvements on the idea that was selected previously. SCAMPER and TRIZ were the two techniques used to guide us along the process of brainstorming improvements. Each letter of SCAMPER encourages us to think along a specific direction. I found this very helpful when I was stuck and couldn’t think of anything to add to the idea.

TRIZ, on the other hand, is a unique approach to come up with a solution that solves a contradiction in a problem statement. The principles of TRIZ provided hints and clues to possible ways of overcoming…


The goal of this assignment was to pick the best idea of the top three ideas that were selected at the end of brainstorming. Market survey, benchmarking, low-fi prototype, and user-feedback were the objective tools used to select the best idea.

As pointed out in [1], the timing of prototyping and other activities in design projects is more important than the time spent on them. Prototyping early in the design process, and going back to collect user feedback is correlated to success in the project. This is exactly why we do both these things in this assignment.

In my…


The goal of this assignment was to generate a large quantity of ideas for the selected problem statement — “How might we better design a space for people to eat and work on the same surface?”. An individual brainstorming session followed by a group brainstorming session led to a total of 89 ideas. Finally, I analyzed the ideas based on votes received during the session and their relevance to the client to pick the top 10.

The strategies for teaching brainstorming mentioned in the paper I read [1] were immensely helpful when I was generating ideas by myself. Whenever…


This assignment was about getting into the user’s shoes, experiencing what they experience, listening to and learning from their stories. The goal was to come up with user needs or problem statements related to the sub theme I had chosen (Desk Organization).

Empathizing with people and engaging them to talk about their problems is critical for arriving at user needs. This has been mentioned time and again in various articles and research papers. In an article called ‘Design Thinking’ [2], Tim Brown mentions empathy as one of the most important traits that a design thinker must possess.

“By watching people…


Creating a mind map and generating 10 silly ideas helped form a resource, filled with things I know about the theme “organization”. The entire process felt like a brain dump. I felt that this process was meant to provide cues and directions on how to proceed further. If I had started ideating products for organization from the get go, I’d have probably overlooked many areas and directions which might have led to great ideas. Unlike novice designers, experts always analyze the problem statement before coming up with solutions (Kokotovich, 2007). …


Having never baked a single cookie in my entire life, let alone create a new recipe for it, I knew I had to start from the basics. I started by looking up the definition of a cookie and right from the outset I challenged assumptions. For instance, does it have to be sweet?

While reading up about cookies, I learnt a few interesting concepts such as flavor bouncing and cookie ratios. Then I went on to see what’s out there. I looked at recipes of various kinds of cookies on,, and The results of a study published…

Vikram Katti

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