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What is brainstorming?

Brainstorming is a group method that is used for generating ideas. This process is often used to help find a solution to a problem. Brainstorming should not be confused with focus groups, where the function is to gather data on how users feel about a certain product or idea.

Why is brainstorming important?

Brainstorming is useful in interaction design or usability engineering, as it can foster creative ideas. Due to the informal nature of brainstorming, team members are more likely to make suggestions without worrying about how these will be judged. It is important that suggestions are only analyzed for feasibility once collected. The aim of brainstorming is to collect numerous ideas.

How to perform a brainstorming session

A group is gathered of three members or more. The goal of the brainstorming session should be clarified to all participants. The floor can then be opened and participants should be encouraged to voice their ideas. Every idea that is brought forward should be written down so that participants do not feel inhibited and quieter members of the group should also be encouraged to speak. The brainstorming session is concluded once a large number of ideas are collected or fewer suggestions are brought forward. In the final step, the ideas are evaluated against the initial criteria and the best ideas are selected to help perform the task at hand.

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