What is Ideation? Definition, Meaning and Process
July 15, 2021 Max 6min read
What is Ideation?
Ideation is a broad term that encompasses the creative process of generating and expressing new ideas. Ideation is creative thinking that aims to solve a problem or provide a more efficient way to do or accomplish something. It includes developing new ideas, enhancing current ones, and determining how to implement new ideas into practice.
Ideation refers to the process when you generate ideas on one or more topics in a creative and open environment.
This method is impactful and applicable to any stage of development.
Ideation is often a non-judgemental process to forward ideas for new product concepts. Moreover, it also helps to eliminate development issues and overcome market challenges.
The goal of ideation is to welcome free-flowing thoughts and ideas. Also, consider the ones that may seem absurd, novel, or strange because they have the potential to boost innovation.
Ideation sessions can benefit product teams by not only stimulating creativity. But also to combine and collaborate on each other’s ideas. It would be a slight change from their everyday workflow and environment.
However, there is a need for a fine structure to an ideation session. That helps everyone knows the aim and the problem.
While brainstorming ideas, the target audience and their issues should also be kept in mind.
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Before starting an ideation session, there needs to be an ice-breaker to make some way for uninhibited ideas and remove the stress of coming up with good ideas.
The ideation session could start with the “worst possible idea” to welcome absolutely any ideas. Visual aids, brainstorming ideas, linking words/ideas, and playing games encourage higher creativity.
After examining the definition of ideation, it’s time to explore the benefits that come with ideation.
What Are the Key Advantages of Ideation?
Usually, critical thinking is not the priority during ideation sessions until a later stage. Ideas are not criticized or analyzed at the initial moment. Every input is welcome, no matter how irrelevant or absurd it might be.
You must silence the inner critics for a while because they might hamper creativity, prioritizing quantity over quality.
The more ideas are encouraged during an ideation session, the more potential solutions and choices you have to choose from.
Ideation is a safe space where team members are likely to suggest solutions even if they think they won’t work.
Whether or not that turns out to be accurate, discussing these ideas can trigger creative solutions among other listeners.
Thus, it unlocks new options and takes a step closer to positively impacting the development process.
During such creative thinking sessions, the team does not revolve around your team members alone.
You can also welcome other team members to bring diverse perspectives and worldviews to the table. It can help to come up with a variety of ideas.
New bonds and valuable collaborations get formed during ideation sessions. Such a relationship can enhance fruitful results for the future of the company.
It can cause departmental barriers to shade off and creates a cohesive work environment in the company.
Product management software like Chisel promotes ideation and innovation, aiding in creating a unique product for your customers.
How Can Product Teams Benefit From Ideation Workshops?
Ideation sessions usually focus on embracing creativity and brainstorming new ideas, but in an organized way. The meeting space should be away from the regular workspace, and you should allot a fixed time.
When the setting for the session is away from the workspace, it prevents distractions. It allows participants to relax and enter into a different mindset. It helps to dedicate the allotted time to the fruitful ideation session mentally.
It would be best to put someone in charge of making a brief opening statement. Set the session’s tone and ensure that the goal is clear to everyone.
It is crucial to reaffirm to everyone that there are no bad ideas, and each idea only serves to promote better ideas in an ideation session. Radical critical thinking can hamper the flow, and valuable ideas could be left unspoken.
When people from outside the team get invited to ideation sessions, they can help understand the insights from target users. The additional staff can be from sales, marketing, customer care, and support teams.
What Is the Correct Order of the Ideation Process?
The third stage of the design thinking process is Ideation, which is about developing new concepts. Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.
‘Empathize’ is the initial stage of the design process. The primary focus is establishing the viewpoint of the target market. How to handle the problem?
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The second stage is ‘Define.’ The analyst is now putting all of the data obtained in the first stage collectively. The next step is to assess the problem statement.
Instead of focusing on corporate goals, the associated problem statement should get expressed in human-centered language.
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The third step is ‘Ideation.’ Once you identify the issue, developing creative solutions to the unfulfilled goals is essential.
The ideation phase is where brainstorming takes place. At the outset, you gather as many ideas as possible for your team to research and evaluate them.
The fourth step is the ‘Prototype.’ Your team determines which of the potential solutions is most suited to solving the specified problem through experimentation.
The last and final phase is called the ‘Test.’ The effort and data come together in the final stage to test the product.
It’s vital to remember that this is still an interactive phase. As you did in the Empathize phase, you’ll want to hear from your clients again.
How Can You Practice the Techniques of Ideation?
A successful brainstorming session involves the use of practical techniques. There are a variety of methods for coming up with new ideas. Every team member should be able to use the method chosen.
It should be beneficial for them in creativity, production, and method experience. These are the four most often used and powerful Ideation techniques:
The first ideation technique, brainstorming, is a way of problem-solving that combines several approaches. It invites people to post or brainstorm ideas at random. It allows the team to express their thoughts openly.
It also generates a slew of new ideas that you can refine into a unique, actionable concept. It allows the crew to express their thoughts openly. There are various product roadmap software and product management tools that support brainstorming.
One such seamless product management software is Chisel which makes your brainstorming process very efficient.
The term “mind mapping” refers to a visual depiction of concepts. It is a method of connecting ideas by constructing relationship webs. Here the problem occupies a central position in the minds of the players.
The issue stems from various concepts or themes that link to another solution or idea.
In the format of diagrams and sketches, Sketch Storm conveys workable solutions. Words alone are insufficient. It allows participants to draw ideas in various shapes appropriate for idea generation.
An idea’s sketch can be straightforward and unrefined but comprehensive enough to indicate the meaning.
The last ideation technique is storyboarding, where participants are encouraged to develop a story based on the issues using storyboarding. It stresses visual storytelling with key characters as design, problem dynamics, and a path to a solution.
You may also be interested in:
- How Product Ideation Can Help Improve Your Website’s User Experience?
- What Is Idea Management and Why Is It Important?
- What is Design Thinking? 5 stages, Advantages, FAQs.
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid During Product Discovery
- What is Intuitive? (Definition, Meaning and Examples)
- Gantt Chart Dependencies: Understand and Manage
Ideation refers to the process when ideas are generated on one or more topics in a creative and open environment. This method is impactful and can be applied to any stage of development. It is often a non-judgemental process to put forward ideas for new product concepts.
Ideation sessions can help silence our inner critic to enable free-flowing creativity. It helps to foster creativity for the company. Moreover, team communication and collaboration are enhanced due to such sessions. You can find creative solutions for particular concerns in the company through ideation.
Amazon’s “Prime” two-day delivery service is an instance of how ideation may be employed to serve customers better.