How to run a successful ideation session

Ideation is the mode of the design process in which you concentrate on idea generation. We ideate in order to transition from identifying problems to creating solutions for our users.

Particularly early in a design project, ideation is about pushing for a widest possible range of ideas from which you can select, not simply finding a single, best solution.

So how to run an effective ideation session?


Define an objective

The main objective of ideation if to generate new ideas. Before you can start looking for a good idea, it is important to have a defined problem statement or Point of View(POV).

Once we have a workable Point of View statement we can say, from this statement we need to develop How Might We statement for ideation that will help fuel the brainstorms.

Invite the right people

When deciding who to invite, there are few principles to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid the people you know will create problems.
  2. Bring in the best people who are available.
  3. Find people who can wear multiple hats.
  4. Consider some unlikely choices.

Designate a facilitator

Someone has to bring attention to everything else in agenda and drive discussions towards an action item.

facilitator role is to communicate and guide the right mindset, so the participants feel comfortable to let go and open up to ideation.

Therefore, the facilitator comes in prepared, setting up the energy of the group, and may lay down some ground rules. Facilitator role is then to guide the participants through the journey of ideation construction. He may also have to make decisions on the flow and timing based on the scope and how certain teams are processing the instructions and the activities.

Decide ideation method

Check methods to be used on ideation session. Work together with facilitator on how to use, printing of materials and preparation. Short list of techniques:

  • Bodystorming
  • Brainstorming
  • Brainwriting
  • Gamestorming
  • Mindmapping
  • Reverse Thinking


Setup the rules

  1. No Judgment
    Let ideas flow so people can build from each other’s great ideas.
  2. Encourage Wild Ideas
    Embrace the most out-of-the-box notions. There’s often not a whole lot of difference between outrageous and brilliant.
  3. Build on the Ideas of Others
    Try to use “and” instead of “but,” it encourages positivity and inclusivity and leads to tons of ideas.
  4. Stay Focused on the Topic
    Try to keep the discussion on target.
  5. One Conversation at a Time
  6. Be Visual
    Use colored markers and Post-its. Stick your ideas on the wall so others can visualize them.
  7. Go for Quantity
    Crank your ideas out quickly. For any 60-minute session, you should try to generate 100 ideas.


Depending on selected technique, start your ideation session. You may use sticky notes for ideas. After this session you have to have “cloud” of sticky notes.

Cluster the ideas you got.

Everyone takes part, so everyone gets to know the range of ideas. Clustering will quickly transform a random cloud of sticky notes into a series of clusters. Use logical groups, headers where similar ideas may be groped.


Dot voting is a familiar method where participants are given sticky dots or thick pens to mark their choices.

Material is displayed around the room (perhaps pinned to walls or displayed on tables), and participants move around the space, marking the items that deserve more attention.

Usually, each person is allowed to make a fixed number of votes; some – times they are allowed to “spend” multiple votes on the same item.

At the end, you can easily see which items have the most votes.


Good preparation, by reading and printing materials on selected ideation method will satisfy you and team on the session. Keep rules, relax and no judgment. This is the time when you are releasing internal creativity.

Seven secrets for better brainstorming

Brainstorming is an activity that will help you generate more innovative ideas.

It’s one of many methods of ideation—the process of coming up with new ideas—and it’s core to the design thinking process. It’s a skill that you can build within your team and organization to help bring new ideas to life.

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Adobe’s Kickbox: The Kit To Launch Your Next Big Idea

Innovation is s difficult topic when we are discussing about it. Every manager top down want innovations, even sometimes not sure what it is and how it should looks like.

I was very interested when first time I found about Adobe Kickbox. Adobe managed to create program / framework that encourages and guides employees to innovate at work.

From my personal insight, this is useful for individual person too. You may go through framework in order to create your personal “startup”.

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What is an Affinity Diagram?

The affinity diagram is a business tool used to organize ideas and data. It is one of the Seven Management and Planning Tools. People have been grouping data into groups based on natural relationships for thousands of years; however, the term affinity diagram was devised by Jiro Kawakita in the 1960s[1] and is sometimes referred to as the KJ Method.

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Why does team reflection matter?

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.

Henry Ford

One small thing is important after any of team event. This is a reflection. And we as a team did our reflection after our hackathon event. Why does team reflection so matter?

Using reflection to capture new knowledge or feelings after a project or task can help your team to continuously learn and improve.

The reflection is both an individual and collective activity. Team members generally reflect first as individuals, share those reflections with the group.

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What Is Empathy In IT? A comprehensive guide to building empathy for your users

Solutions are designed for people

Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing. This is how Wikipedia describes empathy.

What is empathy for me and how does it linking to IT?

Whatever I am building, I am building with the user in mind. Why does a person come to me? Why does he need me? How to make his life and work easier. How to identify true needs behind customer words?

By being an IT guy I do enjoy working with PC. I can enjoy how nice icons are constructed or how many RAM’s it has. However, not forgetting working with people and for people.

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Design Thinking models. The Double Diamond

This article I am dedicating to observe the Design Thinking model developed by the Council of Industrial Design in 2005.

The Design Council, formerly the Council of Industrial Design, is a United Kingdom charity incorporated by Royal Charter. Its stated mission is “to champion great design that improves lives and makes things better”. It was instrumental in the promoting of the concept of inclusive design.

Every design specialism has a different approach and ways of working, but there are some commonalities to the creative process. At the Design Council, we like to illustrate this with our Double Diamond model, part of our Framework for Innovation.
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Design Thinking models. IDEO

In this post I will continue on different Design Thinking frameworks. This time I will observer Design Thinking model from IDEO.

What is IDEO?

IDEO is an international design and consulting firm founded in Palo Alto, California, in 1991. The company has locations in Cambridge (Massachusetts), Chicago, London, Munich, New York City, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Tokyo.

IDEO believes that the key to figuring out what humans really want lies in doing two things:

  • Observing user behavior
  • Putting yourself in the situation of the end-user.
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Design Thinking models. Stanford

As I wrote in my last post, Design Thinking is methodology as a way to innovate and it has different models from different organizations and schools. First of all, I can not confirm that one framework is better than another. It matters how it is used and facilitated.

Some time ago, I had presented Design Thinking to my colleagues. The model of was on my presentation. It is easy, lean and understandable to be used by everyone.

So, In this post will observe the five-stage Design Thinking model proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (

5 steps design thinking model proposed by the Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (
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Want to know what is Design Thinking and why it so popular? Why it is used so widely? Let me explain and introduce it. Definition, history and popular models of DT.

When I heard about “Design Thinking” for the first time, I never thought that it might be somehow related to IT. Two words “design” and “thinking” did not fit together. But it was a long time ago. Today I can and want to share a bit of I know, collected and compiled.

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of
technology, and the requirements for business success.”

Tim Brown
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