By Aaron Britt, senior editor for IDEO.org
Conversation Starters. Get a reaction and spark dialogue by coming up with a bunch of ideas around a central theme. If you’re working in sanitation, you could ask, what is the toilet of the future, the toilet of the past, a super toilet, the president’s toilet? As the person you’re designing for shares her take, be open to however she interprets the concepts. You can learn a lot about how she thinks.
Brainstorm. Observe a handful of rules when you brainstorm, the goal of which is to promote openness, to generate lots of ideas, and to prize creativity and innovation over immediate feasibility. Brainstorms work best when the group is positive, optimistic, and focused on dreaming up as many ideas as possible.
For more, check out Design Kit, IDEO.org’s suite of teaching tools, www.designkit.org.