- [Narrator] Ideation fits into the user-centered design process right after you've discovered your user's pain points and decided upon your personas. Ideation techniques allow you to generate multiple potential solutions to the pain points you uncovered. The information that you need to do the ideation work comes from your experience map, and the list of pain points and goals you created. Obviously, you need some focus for the ideation process, and that's where your personas help, by providing a reality check.
After doing an ideation exercise to discover multiple possible paths, you'll narrow your focus and bring things back to reality somewhat by creating scenarios and storyboards. These tools describe the design ideas that you've chosen to follow as a result of the ideation exercise. They turn the abstract design ideas into specific, understandable, actionable items. By showing how the ideation concept would apply to your personas, creating a day-in-the-life story of the persona's interaction with the new design concepts.
After you have your scenarios and storyboards you can create a prototype user interface to test out those ideas, and refine them, before committing anything to code. In this way, you save time and money by working out what you plan on building early in the process, before it gets costly to make changes. Ideation techniques free you from your current design constraints. Rather than trying to just add new pieces onto your current interface, the equivalent of trying to climb the same hill, you'll explore some alternatives that might just take you in a new direction that let's you climb a taller hill and create a design that better suits your user's needs.
Ideation involves the whole team, in generating multiple different alternative design ideas and allows you to perform a design reset so that you can assess different alternatives and set off on a path that's more likely to meet your user-centered design goals. It's amazing how creative different team members can be when you give them the opportunity. Ideation exercises are an opportunity to draw that creativity out. Let everyone on the team feel like they've contributed to the solution that you decide to go with.
The benefit of this type of exercise should be obvious. You inject new ideas into your design process and the creativity you unleash on the team leads to solutions you may never have uncovered otherwise.
In this installment of UX Design Techniques, Chris Nodder explores a variety of ideation techniques. Chris explains how to brainstorm in a way that lets all members of a team, not just the designers, contribute to a product's overall direction.