Monday, 2 November 2009

Design Solutions through Brainstorming (2A)

So for the next part of design studies we were given the task of brainstorming the design ideas related specifically different aspects in Malcolm Gladwell's 'The Tipping Point.' For this I met up with some of my fellow textile colleagues and we brainstormed as a collective group therefore benefiting from each others ideas and train of thought. We began with a huge blank canvas on which by the end was completely bursting with potential design related ideas and topics. The chosen method to record our thoughts was post it notes. None of us had ever used this method before but since it had been recommended to us we decided to give it a shot and I'm really glad we did. It was quick, simple and really effective as well as allowing us to keep it organised by colour coding the different areas using different colours of post it notes. So to begin with we started with 'The Stickiness Factor' which were recorded on green. To kick start this brainstorm we talked about the Ipod and how it was one of the stickiest pieces of technology any of us could think remember. We spoke about how convenient it was for the consumer i.e. it was lightweight, portable, a single unit, easy to use and most of all affordable. From this we moved on to thinking about advertising and how certain advertising methods where the reason why certain products have become so sticky. For example the colours related to certain companies, cadburys and the colour purple. Also the different types of advertising methods, tv commercials, the internet, magazines, posters and slogans to name a few. A key advert which sprung to our minds was coca cola and how this is always on around the christmas period and has a polar bear or the father christmas figure as well as being associated with the colour red. Examples from the slogan discussion would be the famous nike slogan; the tick and also the catchphrases supermarkets have such as Tescos; 'Every little helps.' This is only touching the surface of what we discussed concerning the stickiness factor.
Moving on now to the next main chapter in 'The Tipping Point' we tackled, the law of the few (pink post it notes.) Within this field of discussion the main three points were Mavens, Salesmen and Connectors. Out of the three areas this was probably the most successful concerning the sheer amount of ideas we were firing out there. We began by posing the question of what relates to salesmen? Key issues and words such as publicity, catalogues, internet and shop layout came up. How the salesmen target their consumers? How they attacked each generation for example offering student discounts or having offers and promotion nights. For the connectors we came up with the idea that they connected people, industries and ideas all around the world. Twitter, facebook,google, call centers and social networking in general was a huge area which our discussion was based upon. We found as we went on further into our discussion ideas from previous areas all connected and this was the useful thing about using post it notes as we were able to move them about easily therefore being able to visually see important links and connections. Finally we spoke about mavens such as watchdog, review websites and price comparison for example compare the meerkats which when we spoke about it had the horrendous sticky tune from the advert in our heads all day!
Lastly we discussed the power of context in relation to design solutions. This area proved to be the most challenging for coming up with ideas for. Crime was one of the main points which we based this section of our brainstorm on. Topics such as the broken window theory which Gladwell spoke about in the book and the prison experiment made us think about the prison system which sparked a lot of potential. From uniforms to community projects aiming to prevent youth crime and advertising
where some of the main points. Another crucial topic was identity and we spoke about how some people would consider this an invasion of privacy and whether finger print checks, eye scanners and id cards are acceptable in society today. Finally the we spoke about the No.150 theory and how it may determine the level of success for a business. If you think about it if a firm or business has only a close knit number of people then it would a more personal and comfortable environment to work in. However on the other hand it could spark big egos or too many different ideas could arise causing conflict and subsequently causing a lower rate of success. I also took part in a documented video of our discussion but unfortunately I have been unable to upload it here but it can be viewed on my colleagues blog using the following link

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