Creativity and good ideas are one of those things. Sometimes they just come to you naturally, sometimes you can’t think of anything. And then there’s the kind of idea that you think is great, but everyone else can’t figure it out.
Collaborative brainstorming and ideation sessions like Crazy 8’s help to jump-start your own thoughts and find new solutions to a problem as a group. It sounds down-to-earth, but it can also be totally «crazy».
Grab your coffee and let’s go crazy.
💡 Why we need ideation?
As designers, we are often already familiar with the problem we are supposed to solve. Especially with in-house teams, this is often the case, but specialization in a particular industry also brings this knowledge with it. This is not bad per se. However, in order to find new solutions for old (and previously unsolved) problems, we sometimes need new input.
Ideation sessions use various methods to help develop solutions to problems that have not been on the table before. It’s about changing your perspective, chasing ideas that seem crazy at first glance, and turning everything on its head once before committing to a direction.
If it works, it’s not crazy.
Crazy 8’s is a proven method to quickly generate ideas and develop the best ones. Often Crazy 8’s are used as part of Design Sprints, but the method is also well suited for shorter ideation sessions and everyone can get involved – no matter how much they believe in their own UX sketching skills 😉
Let’s take a look at how exactly.
🤪 How to get crazy 8’s?
Crazy 8’s is a simple method to generate many ideas about a particular problem or feature in short time, without thinking too much about it and only considering more details in a second and third step. The process is as follows:
All participants get a pencil and a sheet of paper and fold it so that there are 8 squares. Or you use a digital white boarding tool (see below). The workshop facilitator gives the signal for the start and after each minute – for 8 minutes.
In each minute, each participant draws an idea for the problem in a box. At the end the paper is filled with 8 sketches.
After that, each participant presents their two best sketches within one minute.
In part, the best idea is refined. The participants have 5 minutes. The idea that each participant is most convinced of is drawn on a sheet of paper during these 5 minutes. It can also include elements from your own drawing or ideas presented by the other participants.
This is the longest part with 10 minutes. The «best» idea from part two is now turned into a storyboard and each participant draws a total of 3 screens that help solve the problem.
A great video about Crazy 8’s is available from Relab Studios:
Actually, it wasn’t that crazy at all. But the rapid drawing, the weird results, and the unbiased approach to the problem always feel pretty crazy at times. If you’ve tried Crazy 8’s before as well, please get in touch and share your experiences with me. I would love to hear your story and most importantly see your sketches!