Diverge Objectives — Let’s unleash our creativity to create as many solutions as possible!
Once you have an understanding of the product, the design challenge, and your user, it is time to diverge.
The diverge phase is the sensational time when anything is possible. There will be a lot sketching to do at this stage.
Is about accepting and building on all ideas — your own as well as others’.
Every time there’s that little voice: “no” or “it won’t work” — ignore it! Get that idea down anyway.
Or if you wonder, “I wonder if the platform supports this” — just imagine, “what if it did” and get that idea down too.
You will have time to be critical later.
Individual (silent) brainstorming
Each participant writes down as many ideas as possible — one idea per sticky note. This gives them the chance to self-reflect and think about what they are inspired to create, avoiding the “hive mind” that can sometimes happen when brainstorming in a group.
The farther up on the graph, the more value it provides to the user; the farther to the right, the more difficult it is to build.
If two (or more) ideas are similar, group them!
We invite each group to build on each other’s ideas. If seeing someone else’s idea sparks something new, encourage them to write it on a sticky note and put it up! This is the time to collaboratively explore all the possibilities together before thinking about technical feasibility.
Organizing their ideas in this way allows participants to quickly understand how each of their ideas relate to one another.
Great startups, however, will pursue ideas that not only provide value but are also challenging to build so they can’t be copied easily (upper-right of the graph).
We advise staying focus on topic and having one conversation at a time.
8 key moments
By “key moments” we are referring to the different possible experiences and interactions the user has with the software. A moment can be a screen, interaction or use case.
The Crazy 8’s Exercise
Let’s do the crazy 8 exercise.
Fold the sheet of paper 3 times.
Unfold the paper and notice the 8 grid rectangles created.
Sketch 8 different key moments of the app’s experience. 8 ideas in 5 mins, one in each rectangle.
Note: this is not a story board. The moments do not need to be connected or tell a cohesive narrative. They should be 8 totally different ideas. This exercise is all about pushing yourself to think quickly and visually.
Exercise: Create a pizza ordering app
Meet Jane. Jane is an undergraduate. She has no money, no boyfriend and car. She lives in hostel.
Jane gets hungry easily and when she feels hungry, she wants food quickly. But she is too lazy to go out to buy. Her favorite app is McDelivery.
She is very active in school clubs, hoping to find a boyfriend to buy food for her. She stays up late every night. On weekends, she loves to lunch with her friends.
By the time Jane returns to her hostel, most of the stalls have already closed. She likes to eat pizza but she can’t finish it alone.
She don’t own credit card so she usually pays with cash for her dinner and school clubs’ activities.
How to convert business requirements into product features? Ask yourself these questions.
- What is your user doing?
- Where is your user?
- Who or what are they near?
- When does the user use?
- How does the user interact with your product?
With the demographics, behavior and use cases, we can generate the feature list for the pizza ordering app.
Which group of features do you think are designed for Jane? And why? Who could the blue and green features designed for? The answer is at the end of the article. Do not scroll down yet.
Secure payment seems to be the least concern for the pizza ordering app. I guess the reason is security should be a given.
At this stage, you should conduct more user research to get bigger sample size of the same persona. Refer to Research Sprint for more details.
Now repeat the crazy 8 exercise with your idea.
Favorite Key Moment
After you are done going through the crazy 8 exercise again with your own idea, draw your favorite key moment next.
Work individually and sketch 1 big idea in 5 minutes.
Take your favorite “key moment” (or a few that are related) from the previous exercise and expands it.
Share and get feedback from your teammates. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
By the way, here is the answer. The features in red are for Jane. Do they make sense based on the limited information you know about Jane?
Green is for busy working professionals. And blue could be for ladies or perhaps those who have been living in the west and love to customize their pizzas.