How to come up with a great idea
So your stuck in a rut, you've been tasked to create something and the ideas aint flowing or maybe you want to do these "get rich quick schemes" to make a bit of money on the side or maybe you just want to change the world with an amazing business idea. Well hopefully these steps can take you there well at least help you along the way.
Create a vision board
By creating a vision board allows you to lay down what you want but not only what you want why you want it. Using the word "WHY" is so important in design as its something we always should do to make the idea successful "why are we doing this?" "why can't I...?" "Why should I...?" always question yourself at every stage. Using a vision board allows you assess what you want to do as its layed out to answer.
Here I have done my own vision board but you could use it as an example but as you can see its a venn diagram which everyone "loves" and consists of:
What do you love?
What does the world need?
What can you be paid for?
what do you do well?
These questions are vital for a great idea for a product, service or even a business and even figuring out life goals. The sky's the limit. With the little pockets in between with "Mission" provides meaning and purpose goal to give you reason to keep going and motivated as I know the feeling to keep going without a goal it is totally demotivating and you are more likely to loose steam and give up so definitely figure out what your mission is you'll be surprised what you come up with. Next pocket is "vogation" which is like what motivates you why do it and this brings me back to that WHY keep questioning yourself you'll be doing that for the rest of your life to make the best decision that feel are right for you. "Profesion" what can you do to make a living out of? What can you do that you want to be responsible for and that you want to keep doing? By doing this means your in it to win it and you are dedicated to take this seriously because at the end of the day it's something you want to do and take forward in your career and you never know you might fall in love with the idea. Lastly we have "Passion" this is essentially the drive even though you have your mission without the emotion of passion and love to make this happen the product or service won't become an reality and it will feel like work and an effort so having this passion makes you more driven and feel accomplished within yourself as well.
Another Vision board that could also be looked at is the standard Why, What and How. I think this is a good way to investigate and list ways of achieving these goals and with a list helps you to tick these boxes off and really think and research if the idea is realistic in your life bubble.
So lets start with "WHY"
Why do what you do? Why is this important? Why should I do this? any kind of question that asks why. The more you ask yourself about this question the more fully fleshed out the idea is, the more you have reasons to justify your action and then go through with it. It could even be as simply as "why does homeless people need help?" "because they are vulnerable individuals who are just as human as you and me therefore they shouldn't be treated so deplorably, everyone needs help in some shape or form." Something like this.
Its figuring out why do you want to be involved in this project why does it matter to you and sometimes this is something that lie within so maybe a bit of healthy sole searching can also be done.
How is this achievable? How can I do this? There are many ways to achieve what you want to do and that's through research and experimentation a few suggestions that may help are:
Engage with people find out how your idea sits with your user this could be through interviews, surveys, questionnaires and focus group workshops. If there's people you admire online don't be afraid to engage with them through email or direct messaging. I think kids these days use the term "sliding into those DM'S" literally do that we now live in an instagram and twitter world were everyone uses social media so im guessing this is normal?
Research online see what's on the market, know your competitors, find out how much material costs are, find out who supplies these materials.
Make sure you have a budget know how far your willing to take your idea if you can't afford to do it but are passionate anyway see if there is funding available im sure if your do an application they may see how passionate you are from researching what is required and you never know!
What is the idea? What is the product? what are you going to do about it? What do you want out of it? This is the tangible part of the question were we ask ourselves what it could look like or what is the idea in the first place and the first steps is to just write it down so its not in your head and by writing it down it becomes a reality and sometimes people write things down and it could sound ridiculous but the most ridiculous ideas are probably the most successful I mean in the prehistoric ages making a wheel from a rock sounds bizarre but without it we wouldn't have cars or bikes or machinery to help transport things! Trust yourself by writing things down means we can make sense of the world and even just drawing it helps sometimes it's hard to write down an idea so perhaps illustrating it and how it could potentially work also helps you could be the next Salvador Dali and dreamt up something that's indescribable so drawing helps make sense of it to not only you but others and then researching it further will help you get on its way to developing it towards a final product!
Lastly I want to talk about the why do the business and what the results will be through the art of metaphors in which I call "The Visual Business plan"
As you can see we have a tree and this is like your project or product or service or even business. The roots are the foundations and things you need to do to lay down and establish a good idea such as researching and doing the groundwork by doing this will make the project thrive and grow. The trunk is your core values your beliefs to make it grow and grow even stronger day by day, this is your passions. The fruit represents the results that comes from this care of the project something that you feel will be satisfying as a result. Your vision which is evidently the sun in this diagram makes your project, business, products or service grow and push it forward making it stronger but rember to always go back and do ground work, continue to research and take care or you tree so that it continues to grow even stronger!
I hope this helps with your potential projects, whatever they are and for more visuals I made a video on youtube to help further explain this "in person" if you are not a reader.
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Service designer and Jeweller
Founder of Reimagine by Kteodesigns