Brainstorming and Beyond

A User-Centered Design Method


  • Chauncey Wilson, Senior User Researcher, Autodesk

Brainstorming and Beyond describes the techniques for generating ideas verbally, in writing, or through sketches. The first chapter focuses on brainstorming, the foundation method for ideation, which is a complex social process building off of social psychology principles, motivational constructs, and corporate culture. Brainstorming is commonly portrayed as an easy way to generate ideas, but in reality, it is a complex social process that is often flawed in ways that are not self-evident. Chapter 2 discusses Brainwriting, which is a variation on brainstorming in which each person writes ideas down on paper and then passes the paper to a new person who reads the first set of ideas and adds new ones. Since there is no group shouting out of ideas, strong facilitation skills are not required, and more often than not, Brainwriting results greatly exceed those of group brainstorming in a shorter time because ideas are generated in a parallel, rather than serial, fashion. Brainwriting is useful when time is limited, groups are hostile, or you are dealing with a culture where shouting out wild or divergent ideas might be difficult. Finally, in Chapter 3, readers learn about Braindrawing, a method of visual brainstorming that helps practitioners generate ideas for icons, other graphics, user interface layouts, or Web page designs. Each of these methods provides readers with ways to generate, present, and evaluate ideas so they can begin building a strong foundation for product success.
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User experience architects, designers, researchers, and specialists


Book information

  • Published: February 2013
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-407157-5


"The three chapters in this slim book present creative methods for generating product ideas and business solutions through speaking, writing, and drawing in a group setting. Each chapter identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the method, describes procedures to planning and conducting the brainstorming sessions, and suggests specific variations tailored for specialized contexts."--Reference & Research Book News, October 2013

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Brainstorming

Overview of Brainstorming

When Should You Use Brainstorming?

Procedures and Practical Advice on Brainstorming

Variations and Extensions to Brainstorming

Reverse (Negative) Brainstorming

Data Analysis for Brainstorming

What Do You Need for Brainstorming?

Recommended Readings


Chapter 2. Brainwriting

Overview of Brainwriting

When Should You Use Brainwriting?

Procedures and Practical Advice on Interactive Brainwriting

After the Brainwriting Session

Variations and Extensions to Brainwriting

Major Issues in the Use of Brainwriting

Data Analysis

What Do You Need to Use The Brainwriting Method?

Recommended Readings


Chapter 3. Braindrawing

Overview of Braindrawing

When Should You Use Braindrawing?

Procedures and Practical Advice on the Braindrawing Method

Variations and Extensions to Braindrawing

Major Issues in the Use of Braindrawing

Data Analysis

What Do You Need to Use Braindrawing?

Recommended Readings