By Ximena Vengoechea | The Muse
I’m a user researcher, so brainstorms are the bread and butter of my discipline. A brainstorm helps teams to gather wild and inventive ideas to imagine the future of our products. Or it can help participants step back from a thorny situation and chart a path forward.
Whether you’re brainstorming something as specific and targeted as what set of features a product you’re designing must include, something as strategic as how to build more inclusive working environments, or something as timely as how to adapt your team’s workflow to a remote-only setup, brainstorms can help.
But with many of us working from home for the foreseeable future, the classic brainstorm structure needs adjusting. We no longer have the luxury of jamming on ideas in a room together, whiteboarding side-by-side, or gathering thoughts on sticky notes and mapping them out in real time. And unfortunately, it can be very easy to tune out when brainstorms go virtual, whether because of distractions in your immediate environment (hello babies, dogs, spouses, and grandparents!), or simply because you’re (understandably) Zoom-fatigued.
Luckily, brainstorms are very adaptable to a remote environment. We can keep some of a live brainstorm’s basic building blocks in play, and add the necessary “twist” to keep things engaging and video-call friendly.