Workshop Exercises Playbook


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Important for this playbook

The ideation exercises are designed to cultivate a flourishing flow of fresh ideas, and to refine and develop the best among them into actionable plans.

Ideation, the process of generating a wide range of ideas, is only effective when it revolves around a problem that truly demands a solution. These ideation exercises all assume that you’ve already unearthed such a problem, one that’s meaningful and worth solving.

Ideation exercises help bridge diverse perspectives and encouraging out-of-the-box thinking. By creating a collaborative environment that is safe and judgement-free, you can easier nurture creativity and allow for the exploration of every idea, no matter how outlandish it may initially seem. For optimal results, ensure focus on actual user problems rather than abstract concepts or business-driven objectives.

The energy and dynamism of ideation workshops make them an exciting and fun experience. Participants often leave these workshops invigorated, looking forward to the next one, and excited about the next steps. However, if used right, ideation workshop exercises can be the stepping stone toward viable, user-centric solutions that align with the needs, goals, and expectations of your users.

By generating a wealth of ideas, these workshops bring you one step closer to discovering innovative solutions.

These exercises will push your thinking to its limits and uncover the vast potential of your creative mind.

These workshop exercises are part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

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3-12-3 Brainstorm illustration
3-12-3 Brainstorm

Force fast and unprompted thinking as participants collect, combine, and present

Bad Idea Brainstorming illustration
Bad Idea Brainstorming

Produce the silliest, craziest, and most unethical ideas and turn them good

Competitor Demos illustration
Competitor Demos

Find companies solving similar challenges to find new ways to solve your own

Crazy Eights illustration
Crazy Eights

Sketch eight distinct ideas in eight minutes

Design Charrette illustration
Design Charrette

Collaboratively sketch designs to explore ideas across disciplines

Figure Storming illustration
Figure Storming

Imagine how a famous character, fictional or real, would tackle a problem

Forced Analogy illustration
Forced Analogy

Compare your current situation to an unrelated one

How Might We illustration
How Might We

Reframe insights and pain points into a solvable question

Mash-up illustration

Combine two or more items to explore fruitful and unexpected connections

Mind Mapping illustration
Mind Mapping

Let ideas flow along the path of least resistance through free association

Perfection Game illustration
Perfection Game

Discover and recognize strengths and define effective improvement actions

Powers of Ten illustration
Powers of Ten

Reframe a challenge through frames of greater magnitudes

Reverse Brainstorming illustration
Reverse Brainstorming

Prompt your group to think of problems rather than solutions

Round Robin illustration
Round Robin

Pass an idea from person to person to grow and change it in unexpected ways

SCAMPER illustration

Analyze current and existing problems through seven different lenses

Storyboarding illustration

Expand an idea with context to better understand, communicate, and agree on it

The Anti-Problem illustration
The Anti-Problem

Solve the opposite of the real problem

Yes, And! Brainstorm illustration
Yes, And! Brainstorm

Disrupt negative thinking and build on each others' ideas

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