The IDEO method cards are a great resource for people interested in finding new ways of thinking and brainstorming solutions. By picking a random card and following the prompts I have been amazed at the trail of thoughts that it helps to produce. As you work your way through more cards the ideas can become refined, and I have been impressed with the quality of practical ideas one can come up with (just don’t forget to capture them somehow). The cards have four different categories including learn, look, ask, and try.
You can use the cards by yourself or in small groups. I have found that even shy people are empowered (and inspired enough) to contribute ideas. You definitely don’t have to be an architect or a design expert to use them. This is definitely the best brainstorming tool I have seen. As a freelance Tamil journalist I use it to come with good story ideas. I can imagine small companies who can’t afford costly consultants might be able to use the simple prompts to solve some of their problems. They definitely make innovation and brainstorming, whether radical or incremental, into a low hanging fruit. Just jump and give them a try!
[Note: IDEO recently released the cards as a free iOS App that comes with a few sample cards, and costs $5 to purchase all 51. -- OH]
Predict Next Year’s Headlines
How: clients project their company into the future, identifying how they develop/sustain customer relationship
Why: helps clients to define which design issues to pursue in product development