blue sky ideation

My General Ideas

After 45 minutes on my own, below are the ideas I generated and sketched into my design notebook.

To begin the process, I asked myself some questions about the general kids snacking experience. From there I generated ideas using the answers to those initial questions, focusing on the fact the snacking should make kids feel good.

New Warm-Up

The new warm-up game I developed is called “Letter Pick” (pictured below). To play, one player chooses a category, for example animals, car names, baby names, etc. Each player then takes turns naming things that fit in that category that start with the letter of the Post-It note they pull. Players are not able to select a Post-It note of a letter that is underneath another Post-It. The activity is played until all the Post-Its are gone.

I played this with a group of four. In an effort to keep my session to 30 minutes, we played three rounds of “Letter Pick”. The categories selected were: Hobbies and Activities, Foods, and Baby Names.

Brainstorming Team playing “Letter Pick”

Session Organization

I organized a group of 4 Industrial Engineers, each with a very different interest area within Industrial and Systems Engineering. The only things that they had in common with their “backgrounds” was their major, year in school (all 4th year students) and the fact that they were friends with me! I had 1 woman and 3 men in my group. Each of them participates and has interests in a variety of different activities. 2 participants were from out of state (California and South Dakota). Overall, a diverse group! The following were the people that made up my first Brainstorm Team:

David: I would describe David as a very creative individual. I have known him since kindergarten. His area of emphasis in Industrial Engineering is with the 3D Printing Industry. I have seen some of his 3D prints: AMAZING! He has products that are “Best Sellers” on Amazon currently. Additionally, he and I share snacks/food all the time.

Paul: Another amazing person in my opinion. Paul specializes in automation and works in R&D at a well known manufacturing company. I’ve witnessed him come up with some crazy creative idea sketches in class. In terms of snacking… Paul doesn’t eat much. In the 3 years I’ve known him, I’ve only seen him eat Clif Bars and an apple.

Kelsey: Kelsey is another super talented individual. She specializes in Lean manufacturing and has worked with very successful companies for the past three years. I have worked with her on countless class projects, her ideas are the best! Kelsey likes to pull out snacks around lunch time in class everyday.

Adam: Adam is crazy smart and cool! He specializes in everything it seems. He is hoping to go into the aerospace industry with Industrial Engineering. He has worked for a large commercial airline company and a company that produces aerospace systems in the past. On the snacking side, he is gluten and nut free and can be seen eating Cheerios and Chex a lot.

Idea Generation at its finest…

The Setting: I gathered the Brainstorm Team right after our optimization II class on Monday, October 26, 2015. Because there were easily movable desks and tables in our class room we had our idea generation session in one of the Peik gyms.

The Warm-Up: In addition to playing 3 rounds of “Letter Pick”, I provided a light snack of rice krispie bars to my team for helping me out, which I know isn’t necessarily a great brain food but it got them excited to participate. We also played a few minutes of “Yes, and…” for an improv game.

Length of Idea Generation: I set up our idea generation so that it took no longer than 30 minutes… but we started at 12:05 pm and finished at 12:38 pm totaling a 33 minute idea generation session.

Total Number of Ideas Generated: 43 ideas were generated in our 33 minute session.

Sorting and Voting

To begin the sorting process, the group began by working together to group ideas into like categories. The only direction I gave was to sort the ideas. About 3 minutes into the sort, it was clear that all four of them had their own ideas on how things were going to be sorted. However at about 4 minutes in, one of them lead the group and got everything organized using categories that the group agreed on.

In the midst of sorting and voting.

They sorted their ideas into 8 categories:

1. “Lasting”
2. “Compressible”
3. “Making and Consuming”
4. “Alternatives to Ingesting by Mouth”
5. “Weapons”
6. “Dispensers”
7. “Eating Entertainment”
8. “Veggies Turned Yum”

Following, I gave them each 5 heart stickers to place on what they thought were the best ideas. Below illustrates the results of the sorting and multi-voting process.

1st Session Top Ideas

The criteria I used to select my top 10 ideas were:

  • How related to my theme is the idea?
  • How feasible do I think the idea is (to make)?
  • Does the idea market kids, would they like it?
  • Even though the idea markets kids, would the parents approve?

Based on that, below are my top 10.











How Might We…

Problem Statement from Assignment 3: M and Q want to have the option to put less sugar into their snack food and beverages because they are too sugary.

Translating this into a “How might we statement”:

How might we control the amount of sugar that is put into our snacks?

My HMW Ideas

After spending only 30 minutes generating HMW ideas, I came up with the document shown below.

To start, I know everyone likes sweet things so there was absolutely no way we are going to get rid of sugar. However, refined sugar and natural sugar have pretty much opposite health effects so I generated some ideas incorporating natural sugars to control the amount of sugar in snacks.

A listing of my ideas are as follows:

  • Plain yogurt with added natural sweeteners included on top to mix in yourself
  • Utilizing more sugars from fruits and veggies and incorporating those into packaged products instead of using refined sugars
  • Cereal where you control how much sugar goes into the box (this can apply to other snacks as well)
  • Making sugar substitutes the norm (ie. honey, maple syrup, dates, etc.)

Session Results

For my second session, I used a different idea generation group. This time, I gathered three of my 15 year old year sister’s friends and my sister to generate some ideas on sugar control.

I followed the directions in the lecture except cut the total individual ideas down to 8 after I got a feel for how quickly they were coming up with ideas in the first 10 minutes. I got the feeling that they were having a tough time coming up with ideas and so I gave them some chocolate to boost morale… which worked for maybe 5 minutes and then they were back to complaining on how hard it was to think of new ideas… teenage girls….

The results of my session are posted below:

2nd Session Top Ideas

Like my tops choices for my first session, the criteria I based these top 5 on were the same:

  • How related to my theme is the idea?
  • How feasible do I think the idea is (to make)?
  • Does the idea market kids, would they like it?
  • Even though the idea markets kids, would the parents approve?

Below are the top 5 ideas from my 2nd idea generation session: