Now it is time to zoom back on your concept of service/product. In this phase the product team generates ideas and then focus on the essential.
Once you know which direction to take, you can let your ideas to expand in the ideation phase! This phase is a discussion first and a shortlisting then of the best ideas for your future service/product.
The way we do it at ENGIE
Ideation is a great way to let team members get familiarized with the subject matter. It also sets the stage for great teamwork, so it is important to include all stakeholders in this phase. It is particularly important to get pluri-disciplinary teamwork in the ideation phase – don’t hesitate to bring POs, Tech, Users, Business experts, Business Owners etc.
However, the timing constants should be taken into account – sometimes ideation phases can take 1-3 days. Sometimes ideation phase can be expended to 4-5 days, if it is necessary to go deeper into some concepts.
The ideation phase is not as simple as it seems. Trust designers, they will facilitate this phase and help the team take over the user research outputs, benchmarks etc.
It is actually very difficult to abstract from the different biases and limitations that we all have – designers will create the favorable climate to avoid these biases and to produce truly innovative and user centric ideas.
The ideation phase allows the team to understand the user research outputs to build on it a common vision and understand of user issues. Then the product team should rely on these common topics to generate ideas, and collectively choose which one should be prototyped.
The essentials inputs to this step are:
- Integrate the user research information into ideation phase
- Integrate the design challenge – this is the "light in the night" for the team and the major direction that the product will take
- Provide the environment and context that encourages creativity – this process really should not to be neglected
Even when the prioritization is done, don’t forget to archive the rejected ideas. The design approaches are iterative, so it is not impossible that you may have to pick up another concept in this collection..
How to test at this stage
The testing phase starts when several ideas was generated, and you are ready to organize it into global concepts and prioritize it. Use Value-relationship template and other clarifying technics to deep the concepts and each of its components. Presenting its deliverable to the product team or work on it together is the ultimate testing that allows to define the concept you will prototype.