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Designing for the Web ~ Research & Ideas


can eat buffet’ of inspiration. Next time you’re out, just have a look over one of these stands. See if there is any visual style you can draw inspiration from in one of your designs.

Structured Ideas As I said earlier, it’s not enough to rely on those sparks of inspiration for ideas. Most of the time, they have to be worked at. Luckily we have one good tool to help us with that: Brainstorming, or Ideas Sessions as I like to call them.

Ideas Sessions The Rules of Brainstorming All ideas are equal We’re here to have lots of ideas No Judging Analyse the ideas later Everyone’s equal (no pulling rank) Have fun Keep to time One idea at a time

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Ideas Sessions are group activities that take place with key members of the project team. This is important. In order for the ideas to be taken seriously, they need buy—in from the people who matter, namely the CEO, or Marketing Director. Without that internal buy—in on the client side, an idea, no—matter how great, will almost always fail. Another important member of an ideas session is the facilitator. They should be trained in creative facilitation and are there to coax and squeeze the best ideas the team has to offer. A typical running order of an ideas session would be:

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Attendees — get them to bring a random object Reveal the brief — the aim of the day The rules of brainstorming First Burst Stimulus a. The Four R’s b. Eg. Related World i. TV show of cooking — a related world to gardening ii. List points on a flipchart iii. Use those points to come up with ideas, E.g. Get celebrity chefs to write articles on the new gardening website


6. Passionometer, (a fancy name for some stickers). Use stickers — 1 for not so good, 3 for great. It doesn’t matter it it’s not on brief — the important thing is how people feel about it. The first thing to do once you’ve established the rules of an ideas session and discussed the brief, is to have a First Burst. A first burst aims to get those really obvious, preconceived ideas out and on paper before moving on. Everyone will come to an ideas session with some pre—conceived ideas of how the project should look. Generally, they are the most obvious ideas and they will have been worked out in some detail. More often than not, they are the safest, less—risky ideas. Once that is out of the way, and the ideas have been recorded, it’s the facilitator’s job to begin coaxing the ideas out of the attendees by using stimulus. The Four R’s, (which I’ll come to), is a very useful tool in steering ideas generation without a session becoming stuck down a certain line of thinking. The facilitator will use the Idea Brief and insights gathered during the Research Phase as springboards to send the attendees into other areas of thought. The facilitator will record all the ideas on a single sheet of paper. After the session is finished, the facilitator will go through all of the ideas one by one and the group will rate them by the Passionometer. One sticker for ‘not feeling it’, and three for ‘wow, this is great’. The most highly rated ideas are shortlisted and then enter the next phase of development.

Repeat using another technique to push the attendees in a new direction.

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Five simple steps designing for the web  

Designing for the web

Five simple steps designing for the web  

Designing for the web

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