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Phase 3 in the Design Thinking Process: Ideate

After Empathize and Define phase of design thinking, we will now dive in to the third phase, Ideate!

Read the previous articles for this series on: Design Thinking: A Step-By-Step Guide

Design Thinking part 2. Define Ideation is the design thinking process phase in which you focus on idea creation. In terms of thoughts and consequences, it symbolizes a mental process of "going broad." Ideation is the fuel and the raw material for prototyping and delivering creative solutions to your users. It is the third stage in the design thinking process.

Employing creativity and innovation is the main aim of ideation. Ideations prove that the first solution is not always the best - and that sometimes the best ideas come from combining multiple ideas and sharing different perspectives.

Ideation goal

· Innovate by asking the right questions

· Stay focused on the need and think about the solutions

· Bring together team members' viewpoints and talents.

· Discover new areas of innovation.

· Increase the quantity and variety of your innovation

· Avoid repetition and save time

Ideation Techniques and Methods

1. Brainstorm

A brainstorming session includes sprouting related points from a basic concept. These ideas can then be polished and focused on the final solution. Participants must then choose the best, most practical, or most creative solutions from the possibilities presented.


You are a member of a consumer products company's design team. Your company is releasing a new product, and your team is in charge of the packaging. Your boss will most likely plan a brainstorming session where you may experiment with several designs. You devise a sustainable method of packaging your items but are unsure about the cost.

So the head of research and development notifies you of the budget and probable execution options. By the end of the meeting, everyone is aware of their responsibilities in terms of packaging, budget, and rollout.

2. Braindump

In this method, all the participants write on post-it notes separately and then share them with the team.


A brain dump is when someone prepares for an exam by writing down as much knowledge as they can recall about anything they've studied.

3. Brainwriting

This method is best for introverted persons in which each person gets a piece of paper to write his thoughts in a few minutes. After that, this piece of paper will pass to the next person who will write his thoughts and ideas. This process will be completed when every person in the meeting writes his review on the paper. Then the facilitator will collect the paper for display.

4. Brainwork

Brian's walking uses movement to stimulate creativity. Instead of passing a piece of paper around a circle, participants wander around the room to different ideation stations, where they then expound on the ideas of other participants.

Stages of Ideation

There are four stages of the ideation process.

1. Generating the ideas

2. Evaluation and selection of idea

3. Refinement and development of the idea

4. Testing and implementation

There are many ways to generate an excellent idea, but the best exercise starts with defining the point of view. After that find the best idea to solve the problem by creating a “how might we” statement. So, after evaluation and testing, we will implant that idea.

Defining the Point of View

First and foremost, you must identify your point of view. You can't make a good product or service before you know who the user is, what their objectives are, and what you know about them.

For example

An adult person who lives in the city needs a car for 10-60 minute trips 1- 4 times per week. He does not want to own a car because it is too expensive. He wants to share the car with a person who has similar needs.

After you've looked through the essence of your user's demands, you must figure out how to remedy any challenges they may be experiencing. The easiest approach is to reframe the issue as a How Might We…

How to Generate a “How Might We” Statement

When we have set our point of view, then we will start to find a solution to solve the problem. According to our point of view, how we can design a cheap car, environmentally, and easy to share with more people?

  1. You can start asking overly specific questions, such as "HMW, develop a cab that does not require a chauffeur."

  2. Alternatively, your inquiries may seem too broad: "HMW redesign transportation."

  3. You should make an effort to ask an inspirational and specific question that will serve as your guide in your brainstorming sessions: "HMW creates a driverless automobile that is environmentally benign, inexpensive, and simple to share with more people."

  4. After you've posed the fundamental question, begin breaking down the POV into multiple smaller and actionable sub-questions around which you may focus your various brainstorming sessions: "HMW design an electric car?" and "HMW develop an automobile with a digital code as a key that is secure to exchange among a group of people."

This is when we rephrase the problem such that our difficulty becomes an opportunity for positive thinking and the generation of ideas that can not only solve the problem but also carry the product or service to a higher level.

The Key Prime Factor for Ideation

Coming up with a new idea is a challenging part of ideation. For example, the idea of the invention of the mobile phone was an excellent idea but it took a lot of development, refinement, and technology before we get an actual mobile phone. So, if you want to get success in your ideation, create a well-structured plan in the context of the project. After that, you must follow an easier way to complete your idea. We have to do the following steps to increase the rates of success:

· Align your ideation with the strategic goals

· The systematic and structural approach

· Always ask the right question

· Always get the right people

· Convey and test the assumption behind every idea

· Always love problems, no idea

· Remove barriers

Challenges of Ideation

Inexperienced Facilitation

Ideation, as entertaining and wacky as it may appear, is a serious business that takes expertise and a clear knowledge of the principles to be effective. If you have no prior experience with ideation, you should first learn the principles before digging in.

Uninitiated Team

Ideation introduces its own kind of confusion and uncertainty, which, according to the trained team, is precisely what it should be. This is disconcerting to a newbie, and it may have a bad effect on the results of the ideation activities. The facilitator should constantly prepare novice teams for ideation to avoid dread and anxiety.

Unfriendly Space

The spatial layout has a significant impact on how individuals see and interact with one another, as well as with their team leaders or seniors. It is critical to provide an open, egalitarian, and non-threatening atmosphere that promotes mental and physical flexibility and freedom of expression.

Unclear Goals

Diving into ideation without a clear notion of the objectives is a big no-no. Never convene a varied group of people for an ideation session unless you have one or more defined goals and a problem description.

Egos and Hierarchy

People who are inhibited by the personalities or ranks of others seldom have good ideas. Good ideas also don't originate from dominating people, for any justification. When everyone is treated equally and is given the freedom to openly share all of their ideas, team creativity is at its finest.


A closed mind will be unable to build on outside stimuli. We've all seen it happen—a person who is persuaded that their thoughts are superior to everyone else's becomes ignorant of the significance of others' contributions.

Early Judgment and Devil's Advocate

Deferring judgment is another fundamental aspect of ideation, at least in the early phases. This means that ideas should be allowed to be presented as they are, without criticism, reproach, or requests for clarification, unless the manner in which they are articulated is simply not understood.

Lack of Imagination or Being too Serious/Boring

In addition to true creative obstacles, another issue lurks in the shadows. Some organizational contexts are so ingrained with statistical data, logic, and reason that workers lose their capacity to think creatively.


Ideation is the most interesting step of a Design Thinking project since it allows free thinking within the specified subject. The goal of the Ideation stage is to produce a huge number of ideas — ideas that may inspire newer, better ideas — that the team can then filter and narrow down to the best, most practical, or most original ones. Several excellent ways can assist the design team during the Ideation sessions.

Unlock your business's true potential with our innovative design thinking approach. Our IT consulting experts will guide you through the ideation process, fostering creativity and generating groundbreaking solutions tailored to your unique challenges. Embrace the power of design thinking and revolutionize your operations today.


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