Brainstorming User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition

Brainstorming: Concept Definition

Brainstorming is the act of generating ideas to solve a design problem. It is an activity usually done with a group of people, whether they are designers or stakeholders, under the direction of a facilitator. The strength of brainstorming lies in its ability to facilitate associations between participants’ ideas, thereby broadening the solution space.

Brainstorming uses the synergy of a group to generate new ideas by allowing people to build on each other’s notions. However, all too often, brainstorming sessions become uncreative or misdirected when the wrong mindset facilitates them. Thus, a few rules exist to ensure that participants feel safe enough to share any idea that comes to mind. They are the following:

  1. Set a time limit to create a focused and production-oriented atmosphere.
  2. Start with a well-defined problem statement and keep the discussions focused.
  3. Defer judgment or criticism, both verbal and non-verbal, so as to avoid blocking new associations and ideas.
  4. Encourage weird, wacky and wild ideas to open up the solutions space, take a step outside the box, and create some fun in the team at the same time.
  5. Aim for quantity instead of quality so as to create an atmosphere—one where every new idea is valuable; the results will only be selected afterward.
  6. Build on each other’s ideas so as to achieve new insights and perspectives, making ideas progressively more refined and targeted towards the central issue.
  7. Be visual in order to really bring ideas to life and help other people view the ideas in a different way.
  8. Keep to one conversation at a time so as to remain focused on the objective and show respect for the ideas put forward by others.

The freestyle, seemingly unsystematic nature of brainstorming belies an optimally structured design solution-creation/refining method.

For your convenience, we’ve collected all UX literature that deals with Brainstorming. Here’s the full list: