Help! I need ideas quick!

Over the course of the BT Work Ready Program, Teams had to produce prototype applications around ideas generated in the space of a few minutes. This involved being ruthless and quick-minded. Here are a few of the techniques we used to generate an idea.
The first step in the journey was naming our team. With no knowledge on what was going to be created, we approached naming our team to be as vague as possible. Three things that seemed to lead to good progress:

Foreign Languages

Pulling words or directly translating words into a foreign language acted as a way to create a sense of mystery and a quick way to generate a varied list. My team used a variant of the german translation of magic - "Zauber" to create the name of our app "Zaubra".


Our team name was copied from the Maple Tree. This was from a route of approaching varying names and then leading down the route of plants, then trees. It allowed us to have a general name before we had pinned down our app idea.

Random Thoughts

To start the process, the team spouted random words. The function did not bare fruit of a name, however, it did kick start us down multiple paths such as Plants and Foreign translations. It did also act as an ice breaker as we had not worked together before.

Three Post-it Note Method

Besides trying to name a product, the first problem is actually generating the initial starting point. The quick method we used to create our app prototype:
  • Have three categories: Existing Technologies, Human Needs, Existing Frameworks/Applications
  • Set a specific time limit and generate a pile in each category
  • Then collect one Post-it from each category together and come up with a new concept based on the three individual ideas.
For example:

Lazer Guns,  Fun, Lime (Electric Scooter Firm)

The resulting idea was a Lazer fighting matchup app, it made no sense, but it was a good example of how quick it was.

Being ruthless and the specifics later

An overarching observation from the process. When it came to generating a lot of ideas, you had to be critical and quick when eliminating. You did need to have good reason to remove, however, the speed at which you went from keeping to elimination had to be robust.

When it came the specifics, some things were better left for later. When it came to developing the website portion of the project, decisions around the colour pallet and font choice needed to be relegated to the lowest priority, This was part of rapidly creating a piece of content and ensuring the substance was there, well before the style.

If anything came from this process:

Being quick was good, but being ruthless about quality was the most important.

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