I tried out a new idea for ideation for my past project, which our team dubbed “Flickerstorming”. This group brainstorming methods involves the members of the group viewing a rapid slideshow of images to inspire idea generation during the brainstorming process.
To carry out flickerstorming, you’ll need a small group with a designated moderator for controlling the slideshow and transcribing ideas. For our purpose, we used a public photo sharing site (Flickr) to retrieve relevant photos, but also included several wildcard words or phrases to elicit interesting combinations of photos. The team shouts out any ideas they have that are sparked by the photos and the moderator records them.
From my experience, Flickerstorming has been an excellent method of helping a team to brainstorm a large amount of ideas in a very short span of time. The fast nature of the exercise prevents attachment to any one idea (which is why it’s important to have an automatic slideshow and short duration for each photo), and also helps gauge where the group members’ interests may overlap as each individual may have a very subjective and personal interpretation of the photos. Furthermore, the informality of the exercise encourages the full group to cooperate, as the risk of having a “bad” idea is minimized by the somewhat chaotic and rapid sharing of ideas.
I highly doubt that I’m the first individual to use this “method”, but thought I’d share my experience given how fun and effective it was for our project team. Application of this method is quite limited – it won’t help you come up with a new business plan – but it does seem to be useful for getting initial ideas together for a new product or service.