How might we improve communication in long distance relationships?

My General Ideas

Before I met up with some people to brainstorm products that could improve communication in long distance relationships, I sat by myself, brainstormed & drew ideas so I would have some good ideas going into my group meeting.

Here is an image from my creative journal

New Warm-Up Game

For my new warm up game I created a game that had someone start off by yelling anything that came to their mind (it didn’t have to be a word, it could’ve been something like “GAAAHH!”) then that person would point to someone else in the group. That process would keep going on for about five minutes. It was a great success in my group brainstorming, it made everyone feel much more comfortable with each other.

Here is an image of my final warm up game idea generation.

Session Organization

I had five people, including myself, come to my group brainstorming event. The four other people were:

Maia: Maia is a 20 year old college student, she is an interior design student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Tucker: Tucker is a 23 year old college student, he is undecided on his major, and goes to St. Thomas University.

Barb: Barb is 21 years old receptionist at a hair salon. She lives with her boyfriend Rog in Bloomington, Minnesota. They have been dating for three years, and went through patches of being in a long distance relationship, so I thought she would have great input.

Rog: Rog is 23 years old bartender. He lives with his girlfriend Barb in Bloomington, Minnesota. They have been dating for three years, and went through patches of being in a long distance relationship, so I thought he would have great input on my topic.

The group brainstorming event was held in my apartment in Dinkytown & lasted for about 1 hour, 15 minutes warming up, half an hour brainstorming ideas, then 15 minutes voting on our favorite ideas. For the warm up games, we started with the game I created called “Just Yell”, we then moved to Zip Zap Zop, then finished the warm up games with story spine. We came up with a total of 50 ideas, so as a group our IPM was about 1.66, and as individuals it was 1/3.

Maia, Me, Rog, Barb (Tucker was taking the picture)
Here is Tucker

Sorting & Voting

Top left, our favorite ideas. Top right, our favorite ideas categorized, bottom left, our tools for voting, bottom right, our final voting for our favorite ideas.

We first slimmed our favorite ideas down and re-wrote them on sticky notes then posted them on my door. We then categorized them into five categories (1:Physical Simulators , 2:Visual Simulators , 3:Hand Written Communication , 4:Fast Automated Travel, 5:Simple Memory Reminders) that we thought were the most common in our brainstorming. After categorizing them we all chose a certain color marker to choose our top favorite ideas, we had no limit on the amount we could choose, if we liked the idea we marked it.

Top Ideas

(idea credit written on top of sketches)

Idea 1: Virtual Reality Dates(One of two best idea)

Virtual Reality Dates Sketch

Idea 2: Multi-Way Communicator

Multi-Way Communicator Sketch

Idea 3: Two Way Journal

Two Way Journal Sketch

Idea 4: Automated Driving Pod(Two of two best idea)

Automated Driving Pod Sketch

Idea 5: Trained Long Distance Traveling Animals

Trained Long Distance Traveling Animals Sketch

Idea 6: Heart Beat Wristband Communicator

Heart Beat Wristband Communicator Sketch

Idea 7: Significant Other Scent Creator

Significant Other Scent Creator Sketch

Idea 8: Video Mirror

Video Mirror Sketch

Idea 9: Podcast & Chat

Podcast & Chat Sketch

Idea 10: Voice Replicator Alarm Clock

Voice Replicator Alarm Clock Sketch

My criteria for the best idea was

1, originality

2, functionality

3, creativity

& 4, practicality.


10/19- post initial outline & timeline

10/20- Think of new creative warm up game

10/21- Hold brainstorming session

10/22- Review data from brainstorming session

10/23- Narrow down final ideas

10/24- Finalize 10 ideas.

10/25- Re-sketch final 10 ideas

10/26- Edit & post final blog

10/27- Post peer review

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