How might we improve dish washing for college students?

My General Ideas

New Warm-Up Game

For my new warm-up game, I decided to create a variation on one of the games that we learned in class. My game is a combination of both the word association game and the anti-word association game. The game begins with one member of the group saying a random word and pointing at another member with either one hand or both hands. If the player points with one hand, the pointee then says the first word that pops into their head. However, if the player uses both hands to point, the pointee must say a completely unrelated word. I think this game is a little more difficult than the original word association/anti-word association since everyone needs to be ready to do either option when pointed at.

For my brainstorming group, I had them start by playing both of the original games that we learned in class. Then I taught them my new version that combines the two.

Session Organization

I was able to get 3 college students and a recent grad to participate in my brainstorming session.

Ben, senior — Mechanical Engineering major + Product Design minor

Ben lives in a house with 4 of his guy friends who all share a kitchen. They take turns cooking meals everyday but don’t have a rigid dish washing cycle.

Ken, recent graduate — Aerospace Engineering major + Math minor

Ken shares an apartment with 3 other guys who he just met. They all share a kitchen but everyone is responsible for their own meals and dishes.

Allyx, junior — Psychology major + Management minor

Allyx is one of my roommates. She is one of 6 people in our house of 4 women and 2 men. We have a kitchen cleaning rotation and rules for dish washing practices.

Tyler, sophomore — Sports Management major

Tyler shares a house with 3 other guys and 1 female. They share a kitchen and have monthly assigned kitchen chores.

I had the four participants meet in my living room where we have two couches and a coffee table. There I set them up in the best circle I could and told them the problem statement and how the brainstorming session would work.

We began by first doing 5 minutes of brainstorming with a treat of Crunch or Butterfingers for every idea drawn. The group started off kind of slower than I expected so I had to remind them that we are aiming for quantity over quality (we had quite the artist who was taking up a lot of time just drawing people in his sketches). This first stage yielded only 11 ideas. (IPM: 0.6)

For the next stage, I had them choose a word from the slide from lecture and use that word as inspiration for their next ideas. I decided to make this next stage only 3 minutes because they seemed to get bored and needed a break between brainstorming methods. This stage yielded 7 ideas. (IPM: 0.58)

In round 3, I told the group that they should try and think of “bad ideas” since sometimes bad ideas can lead to good ideas! I was surprised when Ken responded with:

“All my ideas have been bad!”

Nevertheless, we proceeded and they came up with a whopping 11 ideas in 3 minutes. (IPM: 0.92)

For the last round, I decided to try one of the methods that we learned about in the most recent lecture, Pin Wheels. I shuffled the previously sketched ideas from the past 3 rounds and placed them in piles to each person’s left side. They then used these as inspiration for a new idea and then placed that to their right. This went on for 3 more minutes and they came up with 9 total ideas. (IPM: 0.75)

At this point, I noticed that a lot of the ideas were being repeated and decided that they were ready to end the brainstorming session and start organizing the ideas into categories. But before we did that, I went through all the ideas and read them out loud just so everyone could see what had been created. There were 39 ideas total over a span of 14 minutes. (IPM: 0.69)

Sorting & Voting

We laid out the 39 ideas across the coffee table and couch and I instructed the group to start organizing the ideas into categories silently. After a few minutes everyone paused and the sorting was done. I then handed everyone a marker and told them to vote for their top 4 ideas by drawing a tally on the index card. The tallies made it harder to visualize which ideas had the most votes since they’re not as obvious as the dot stickers used in class.

After voting was done, there were 3 ideas with 3 tallies each. These made it onto the second round where each person got to vote for their favorite idea.

Oddly, the most popular idea was a the far right sketch in the above photo. I believe this idea was,

“Hire Burke, the universal dish cleaner, to do all your dishes.”

As unfeasible as this is, there was an overall theme of ideas that were closer to a service rather than a product which I think is something we can seriously consider.

Top Ideas

Left to Right: Tyler, Ben
Left to Right: Ben, Tyler
Left to Right: Allyx, Ben
Left to Right: Ken, Anna
Left to Right: Anna, Anna
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