So we stumbled onto a great Brainstorming Ice Breaker the other day. We called it "5 Worst". So for instance if you are designing a blender you think of the 5 worst things that you can do to design a blender. What does an outrageously bad blender look like?
1) Blender shoots out liquid through the motor when you start it
2) The button is on the inside of the blender jar
3) The blades are made from spaghetti
4) The blender wobbles as you turn it on - and it gets faster as you turn up the power
5) You cant remove the blade or clean it so that fungus grows within 30 minutes of putting the blender in the sink
See- pretty bad ideas, but...
you can already start to get ideas of what a good blender could be. I am looking at no.4 and thinking "Hmmmm....maybe a blender that works more like a paint blender that shakes the liquid?" at no.3 and going "hmm.. does the blade really need to be a blade...can it be something like a hedge string trimmer?"
I accidentally started out a practise session saying "Awright- give me some good ideas on Concept X" and even as I framed the question my mind was drawing a blank on good ideas. As soon as I started asking for outrageously bad ideas, "How would you go out of your way to design a bad product?", then ideas started flowing. The funny thing was that many of the "bad" ideas in retrospect turned out to be imminently workable.
Very fun little exercise