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Design Thinking and Brainstorming A Dynamic Duo

Updated on: 06 October 2023 | 4 min read
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Innovation is when creativity meets strategy, and solutions are born. Ordinary concepts are transformed into extraordinary innovations when brainstorming is integrated with design thinking.

Apple’s success is a testament to the power of design thinking. Consider the sleek design, intuitive interface, and seamless user experience of the iPhone. By putting users at the center of their design process, they’ve created a product that revolutionized the smartphone industry.

Similarly, ever wondered how Google comes up with innovative products like Gmail or Google Maps? They allocate 20% of employees' time for independent projects, fostering a culture of continuous brainstorming and innovation.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the synergy between these two approaches, unraveling how they can be used in problem-solving and idea generation.

Integrating Design Thinking and Brainstorming

When Design Thinking and Brainstorming join forces, the synergy is unmatched. Design Thinking sets the stage by defining the problem and understanding users, while Brainstorming drives the process forward by generating a variety of creative solutions. The design thinking process typically involves empathizing with users (to understand their pain points), defining problems, ideating, prototyping and testing; and brainstorming fits right into the ‘ideation’ phase of this process.

Tips to Combine Design Thinking and Brainstorming

Set the Stage with Design Thinking: Begin with a thorough understanding of the problem. Design Thinking provides a structured approach, ensuring you’re well-equipped to tackle challenges. This stage sets the foundation for fruitful brainstorming. Use empathy maps and user personas to gain a comprehensive understanding of user needs.

Combine Structured and Unstructured Approaches: Design Thinking helps you to structure the problem-solving process. The next step is utilizing brainstorming sessions for creative, unstructured idea generation. Bring together a diverse group of individuals with varied perspectives. This diversity sparks a range of ideas that can lead to unexpected breakthroughs. Encourage the generation of a large number of ideas without worrying about perfection. The gems often emerge from the sheer volume of concepts.

Unleashing Creativity through Brainstorming: With the problem defined, it’s time to get creative. Brainstorming sessions capitalize on the groundwork laid by Design Thinking, generating diverse ideas to address the defined challenges. Want to run engaging brainstorming sessions? Read our guide on how to make virtual brainstorming fun and effective.

SCAMPER is a technique that can be used to ideate in the design thinking process. By encouraging Substitution, Combination, Adaptation, Modification, Putting to another use, Elimination, and Rearrangement, SCAMPER drives effective idea generation.

For instance, in the development of a new mobile app, a product team faced a roadblock in making the user interface intuitive. Through SCAMPER, they substituted traditional buttons with voice commands. The result? A user-friendly app that catered to differently-abled users.

SCAMPER for Brainstorming and Design Thinking
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Resistance to Change

Integrating new methodologies can be met with resistance. Address concerns proactively, showcasing success stories of companies that seamlessly integrated Design Thinking and Brainstorming to overcome challenges.

Time Limitations

In the fast-paced business world, time is a precious commodity. Design Thinking and Brainstorming, when done efficiently, can actually save time by focusing efforts on the most promising ideas and solutions.

Real-world Example: IDEO’s Deep Dive

IDEO, a renowned design consultancy, employs a process known as Deep Dive, combining Design Thinking and Brainstorming. By delving deep into user needs and then unleashing a torrent of ideas, they’ve created groundbreaking designs for companies like Apple and Nike.

Your Invitation to Innovation

Embrace these methodologies, infuse creativity into your problem-solving process, and watch as your ideas evolve into transformative solutions. Ready to revolutionize your approach to innovation? Dive deeper into the world of Design Thinking and Brainstorming. Check out our comprehensive guides on brainstorming.

Join over thousands of organizations that use Creately to brainstorm, plan, analyze, and execute their projects successfully.

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FAQs About Brainstorming and Design Thinking

Can Design Thinking and Brainstorming be Applied in Any Industry?
Absolutely! The beauty of Design Thinking and Brainstorming is their universal applicability. Whether you’re in tech, healthcare, or finance, these methodologies adapt to the unique challenges of any industry.
How Can I Encourage a Creative Culture in My Team?
Fostering a creative culture involves leadership support, encouraging open communication, and providing dedicated time for brainstorming sessions. Consider implementing practices like Google’s 20% Time to nurture innovation.


Hansani Bandara
Hansani Bandara Content Specialist

Hansani has a background in journalism and marketing communications. She loves reading and writing about tech innovations. She enjoys writing poetry, travelling and photography.

View all posts by Hansani Bandara →