IDSE201 Rapid Ideation and Creative Problem Solving

About this course

This course teaches methods of creative problem solving and ideation, including sketching, drawing, diagramming, and the underlying approaches of abductive thinking and divergent thinking. Students learn how to quickly visualize ideas, iterating through variations, and allowing an idea to evolve quickly and effectively.

Reading list

Mobile First - Luke Wroblewski

Best Practices for Web Design - Luke Wroblewski

Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning (2nd Edition) - Dan Brown

Outcomes and competencies

The following outcome statements articulate the competencies, abilities, and skills a student will have as a result of completing this class. Students will...

  • Be able to quickly visualize ideas through various tools, including analog and digital sketching, rapid physical prototyping, whiteboarding and diagramming
  • Be able to model complicated systems and services through the use of diagrams, and use these diagrams to provoke facilitation and design discussion and rationalization
  • Understand how to communicate through sketching, both in a formal capacity as well as in a real-time, facilitation style
  • Be able to quickly iterate through interface design, using input from real users to inform decisions

Core concepts and ideas

This class emphasizes the following main ideas, themes, and concepts:

  • Drawing and sketching as a public activity, in order to foster and facilitate collaborative discussion
  • Diagramming as a method of understanding and synthesizing complicated data, and as a collaborative decision making tool
  • Whiteboarding and group facilitation, for strategic group work and for fostering collaboration across disciplines
  • Rapid Ideation of interaction design solutions, using wireframes and other mid-level fidelity tools


Tue, 10/25

Introduction to Rapid Ideation and Creative Problem Solving: IoT Rex Playback

Activity: Who Are We?

Activity: Hopes + Fears

Discussion: Concept Mapping

Build Initial Iteration: Concept map

Read: Best Practices for Web Design, Luke Wroblewski

Read: Communicating Design, Chapter 4

Thu, 10/27

Due: Concept map

Discussion: Scenarios, Use Cases, Wireframes, Critique

Activity: Concept Map Playbacks

Finalize concept map

Tue, 11/1

Due: Concept Map

Activity: Concept Map Playbacks

Build Initial Iteration: Use cases + Divergent Thinking

Thu, 11/3

Discussion: Think Aloud Protocol

Complete Iteration

Tue, 11/8

Due: Revised Concept Map & Divergent Thinking

Build Iteration

Read Best Practices for Web Design

Thu, 11/10

Discussion: Forms

Complete Iteration

Tue, 11/15

Revised Concept Map, Divergent Thinking, and Testing Results

Build initial wireframes

Read: Communicating Design, Chapter 7

Thu, 11/17

Guest: Anthony Armenderez

Complete Iteration

Tue, 11/22

Due: Wireframes Iteration 1

Build Iteration

Thu, 11/24

No Class – Thanksgiving

Complete Iteration

Tue, 11/29

Guest: Sarah B Nelson

Complete Iteration

Thu, 12/1

Due: Wireframes Iteration 2

Build Iteration

Tue, 12/6

Discussion: Process Flow Diagramming

Complete Iteration

Thu, 12/8

Due: Wireframes Iteration 3

Build Iteration

Tue, 12/13

Work Session

Complete Iteration

Thu, 12/15

Final Playbacks — Beverage Times™