The two parts of the ideation process

The two parts of the ideation process

The whole process of producing ideas doesn't end when an idea is generated. Ideation should be followed by an evaluation part.

  • Idea generation: it means coming up different ways to solve a problem. The focus here is on quantity.
  • Idea evaluation: it means evaluating how relevant each idea (solution) is. The focus in this this stage is on quality.
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The mysticism around ideation

In Greek mythology, there were the muses, who provided inspiration for creative ideas.

Now, even if we stopped believing in muses, we still think about the process of producing ideas as something magical, that we can cannot explain or control.

"Idea generation could be thought of as a search for novelty, while its process partner, idea evaluation, might be thought of as an effort to make novel thinking practical, useful or relevant."

Balancing idea generation with idea evaluation is critical to the creative process.

  • Set the criteria you'll use in your evaluation.
  • Gather the information you need and resist the temptation to rely solely on your intuition.
  • Find an evaluation framework that might work for you.
  • Be sure to have enough time for the second phase of ideation (evaluation).
  • Monitor your ideas of choice to make sure they are really best solutions you could have picked.

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