Individual Idea Generation

My original problem statement was: Cassie needs compact bathroom storage that will fit the bulky items that need storing in an appealing way.
This lead me to creating the “How Might We…” statement of:

→ How might we store bathroom products in a compact and appealing way?

Idea generation — my ideas generated before the group brainstorm session:

New Warm-Up Game

The warm-up game I came up with was a bit of a mixture between Zip-Zap-Zop and Word Ball. 
One person starts by making a motion, action, or sound. Once they’re done they point to another person in the group, and that person must repeat the previous action(s), add a new one, and point to another person, and so on. Each person must repeat every single action or sound made before them and in the correct order, until someone messes up and the game must start over.

The group playing my new warm-up game and being silly

I also had the group play Red Ball to help break the ice, build up some energy, and get everyone feeling a little more creative. We played games for about 10 minutes total before getting into the actual brainstorming session.

Session Organization

Here was my brainstorming group:

Left to Right: Megan, Andrew, Charlie, Alyssa, and Preston

All five people in my brainstorm group live in my dorm building with me, since those were the people I have most easily accessible to me.

Megan is an 18 year old student from Madison, Wisconsin. She is from an upper-middle class family, and her parents are divorced. She has one brother who is 21. She spends time at both of her parents’ homes, and they have very different atmospheres from one another. She has her own bathroom at both homes.

Andrew is an 18 year old student from Eagan, Minnesota. He is from a middle class family. He has three siblings, two of which still live with his parents. He shares a bathroom at home with his two brothers.

Charlie is a 19 year old student from Edina, Minnesota. He is from an upper class family and has two younger siblings. He has his own bathroom at his home that is connected to his bedroom.

Alyssa is an 18 year old student from Aberdeen, South Dakota. She is from a lower-middle class family and has two siblings. She shares a bathroom with both siblings at home, and that bathroom is also the most frequented bathroom by guests and for general use.

Preston is a 19 year old student from Big Stone City, South Dakota. He is from a middle class family with one sister who is 25. At home he has his own bathroom.

We held the brainstorming session in the lounge on the 6th floor of Centennial Hall. We all fit at a small square table where we could see everyone else and their sketches when they pitched them to the group. We spent a total of 40 minutes brainstorming, 10 minutes doing warm-up games, and 10 minutes sorting and voting. We played my new warm-up game (described above) as well as Red Ball to help get everyone feeling more creative and engaged.

The group generated 65 ideas in 40 minutes with 6 people total. This means our IPM, or ideas per minute, was 0.271. Although that wasn’t as high of an IPM as we may want, the group did come up with some good ideas and worked well together.

Sorting and Voting

We spent 5 minutes organizing all of the ideas in silence — no talking about categories, where things should go, or anything else. This worked well because we were able to sort a lot of pretty obscure ideas into groups even if they may have been difficult to categorize had we been trying to talk through it. Some ideas were still hard to sort, but we were able to organize mostly everything fairly quickly and everyone worked well together during this part.

After sorting, each group member was given 4 small post it notes and told to put them on the idea they thought were the best and that were mostly feasible. There were some really interesting ideas generated during the brainstorm that weren’t exactly feasible or logical and although those ideas are fun and cool, I did want to make sure the voting was towards products I could actually move forward with and make use of.

Results of voting with post-it notes

Top Ideas

Hanging drawer set for the side of your vanity/counter — these containers tip open and allow for plenty of extra organized storage space to get products off the messy counter
A towel rack with hooks that folds down to the side of the vanity unit to allow for space-saving towel drying
An all-purpose, all-in-one dispenser for every bathroom counter need: holds cotton pads, swabs, soaps, lotions, toothpastes, tissues, and anything else you need
An adjustable, customizable hanging mesh organizer — it won’t ever get wet and gross, and movable pins allow you to adjust the size and shape of compartments to serve all your storage needs
Drawer dividers and organizers that have rounded, rubber holders to lock bottles and tubes in tight so they aren’t rolling around your drawers making a mess
Suction cups of various sizes with holders for just about anything — just stick one on the mirror and hang anything you don’t want laying around on the bathroom counter
A medicine cabinet dispenser to take the guess work out of pills — just press the button for each day and it will give you exactly the medicines you need to take
Piggy-backing off the idea of suitcase expanders, these bins have zippers on all four corners to allow you to enlarge or shrink the size of the bin easily at any time to adjust to your products and needs
A convenient option with the perfect sized compartments for the most annoying and clumsy bathroom products — hairspray, toothpaste, and mouthwash will no longer be a hassle with this hanging organizer
A hanging organizer whose compartments are all individually collapsible — adjust the sizes and shapes of the holder(s) easily and conveniently

Thursday 10/19 — work on individual idea generation and find people for brainstorm session
Saturday/Sunday 10/21–22 — finish individual idea generation and hold brainstorming session, sort and vote on ideas and choose top ideas
Monday/Tuesday 10/23–24 — re-draw top ideas and work on blog post