Katherine, Sophie, and I have decided on an initial outline for our project! We will be addressing the problem of collaboration in meetings—the potential shyness of meeting participants as a result of group dynamics, the difficulty of generating or sharing ideas, and the laboriousness of replicating and distributing the information once it has been generated. Our hope is to design a solution to this problem using an interactive surface and creating physical artifacts that represent ideas and can be organized and shared easily. We would like our solution to be both ingenuitive and intuitive so that it can add an entirely new dimension to the way brainstorming sessions are conducted and meetings are run. We are particularly excited about this topic because we discovered that we share an enthusiasm for both organization as well as creative freedom and we believe these passions will drive our design process.
Our proposed solution contains an individual brainstorming element, a group brainstorming and sharing element, as well as a method for sorting and retrieving the ideas once they have been generated. We hope to provide users as much freedom as possible in their brainstorming process—allowing them to use whatever medium they feel most comfortable with whether it is through writing, drawing, talking, or recording videos. We also plan on allowing people the capacity to create tokens that represent their ideas once they have been generated. These ideas should be able to be manipulated by other users, connected, and sorted, at will. We have already come up with a number of phrases that we find inspiring including “let’s see what other ideas are on the table” (both literally and figuratively) as well as perhaps using a physical “train of thought” to help sort information.
We chose to use this approach because we think it is intuitive as it follows existing patterns of brainstorming including what we call a “purging” of ideas, followed by reviewing, critiquing, revising, sorting, and sharing. We want our solution to be as interactive as possible while still allowing individuals ownership over their own creative spaces and ideas. We also really like the concept of being able to physically interact with what would usually be entirely abstract ideas.
There are a number of things I am slightly worried about as we begin to think about implementing this idea. I hope that the table does not become confusing and overwhelmed with ideas that are difficult to distinguish from each other. I also hope that we are able to come up with something that is even more intuitive and simple than using Post-It notes. Additionally, it seems difficult to find times when we can all meet as a group and I hope that we are able to overcome those scheduling difficulties.
Ultimately, I am enthusiastic about pursuing this topic and I look forward to seeing how our idea ebbs and grows as we continue to come up with new concepts and learn how to implement them.