Criterion B (.1)

Criterion B (.1)

Edison on the line with you, Visitor.  Time for your first go-round of ideas to solve the problem you identified in A.

Just a reminder, you can load the rubric from the Mezzanine. Before you start with ideation, I would recommend reviewing what's on the list in the Rubric for "Develop ideas."

One way to start this section is with a mood board.

Two key points about what moves you up in the mark bands:

  1. How broad your ideas are.
    1. At the lowest level are project folders that contain few ideas or a limited range of ideas.  Unfortunately, at this level, 3-5 ideas are a common total to present; another approach here is to sketch a set of ideas based on existing products or variations of just one product.
    2. In the middle are folders with several ideas and a moderate range of ideas, showing at least some originality (ie: not just copies of what you've already shown or seen).  Common at this level are designers creating 8-12 ideas to choose from.
    3. The top is dominated by folders with a wide range of original ideas, showing inspiration from multiple different sources, consideration of different factors, recombinations of existing products in new ways, and so on.  Designers at this level generate a minimum of 20-30 different ideas before moving on.
  2. How targeted your ideas are.
    1. Top papers have ideas that clearly focus on the specifications, reflect the research, and carefully consider key aspects like ergonomics.  Annotations help with showing this sort of focus - make sure yours reflect your specs, research, and key parameters.
    2. At the other end of the scale are sketches that have no annotation, or annotations merely pointing out obvious features such as "this model has a hinge on this corner."

OK, ready to start capturing your ideas?


Keep in mind that you don't have to start with sketching.  If you're not sure what to draw, yet:

  • you could start with existing products: SCAMPER is one method for this
  • another approach would be to analyze the feedback and research you've done, in order to identify key trends and ideas that you may not yet have seen
  • a third way to get started is to look at just one aspect of your specifications; for example, if you identified ergonomics as a key factor, start with identifying how the measurements would be reflected in a product; draw various crude limits using cubes and other simple forms; or if you identified sustainability, start looking at dematerialization of existing products and how those changes would affect the whole product

There are many more approaches, too. The biggest secret is to just get started doing something.  Any progress you make will create momentum, which makes further progress easier.

The goal for this round is to create a wide range of ideas that are clearly feasible because they are grounded in your specifications and research.  Sketch on A3 paper, be sure your name is clearly indicated, and keep your pages together.  When you have at least 12 (ideas, not pages!), you may move on.

But of course, I recommend you keep working on it until you have 20-30.


That's a start, Visitor.  Keep in mind that this may only be your first round of ideation.  You'll likely uncover more information and come back to sketch more ideas as the process continues.

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