Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lesson 03: Sorting Ideas

You've done your research, and now you have a big pile of photos and notes to sort through. You've had a thousand ideas and done a good job documenting them - taking digital pics and jotting down notes as you went...now what?

Step 1: Physically represent each and every little idea INDIVIDUALLY. transfer notes to individual notecards or post-its. Print out all of your images, setting your printer to print 4-6 images to a page.Step 2: Put like with like. Group notecards and images that seem to go together. Staple duplicates into little bunches to consolidate. Use your sharpie like crazy, circling, noting and X-ing out anything you think of as you go.

Step 3: Use a labeling system as you go. My favorite way to do this is to circle my icons. A question mark in a circle is an item that needs to be answered or addressed. An exclamation point in a circle is a point of interest, or a consumer insight. A lightbulb in a circle is an idea for a solution. Create your hierarchy of easily spotted icons to help you visually organize your grouped findings.Step 4: Consolidate your groups as much as possible and organize them into columns of ideas. I like to put the most promising ideas at the top. Put these columns into a logical order, a sequence that it's easy to describe to someone conversationally. This order will most likely relate to the order of questions in your design brief, resulting in a roadmap to the perfect presentation of solutions for your client.

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