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Get Visual

Incorporating drawing, sculpting, and building into the Ideation process can unlock all kinds of innovative solutions.

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Stats

Suggested Time

Throughout the entire process

Level of Difficulty

Easy

Materials Needed

Pen, paper, notebook, art supplies

Participants

Design team


Process Phase

A typical IDEO.org Brainstorm or synthesis session is a flurry of charts, drawings, cartoons, and words. Even though some people are naturally more visual and will express themselves easily through pictures, everyone can benefit from thinking visually. Not only does getting visual make ideas more tangible, it immediately helps clarify your thoughts to your team. Even a super low-resolution expression of an idea will help others understand and build upon it. And don’t limit your visual thinking to just pictures. Sculpt, build, collage, use anything that helps get your ideas out!

Steps

  1. This is more of a general approach than a one-off activity, so always keep Post-its, paper, and pens handy in case the urge strikes to draw, graph, chart, or make.
  2. Drawings may need a bit of additional explanation, so take time to talk through your visuals with the team.
  3. If you’re having trouble explaining an idea, consider drawing it. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it comes into focus.