How to Use Visual Brainstorming Techniques to Develop Organized Ideas
At Ink Factory, we love using visual brainstorming techniques to help us creatively solve problems in our work and innovate on our services. Visual brainstorming simply means putting ideas and thoughts on display (rather than the actual act of drawing visuals). You can be at any experience level and still be an effective visual brainstormer.
Read on for some guidelines on how you can start visually brainstorming at your workplace today!
Assign Tools For An Organized Brainstorm
Here at Ink Factory, we think the easiest way to translate ideas into an organized visual is to give them hierarchy. Hierarchy is created when you show what information is the most important and how it relates to all the other information. There are multiple ways to achieve a visual hierarchy, but the easiest way is to have a few different tools and then give these tools specific jobs.
Once you have your tool assignments, then you can go ahead and jump into any one of these techniques and complete them.
Visual Brainstorming Technique 1:
Ink Factory’s Template
We use this “template” all the time at Ink Factory. As a pre-established visual guide, it allows us to think organically and move anywhere on the page that makes sense at the moment. Drawing visuals can be helpful, but aren’t necessary when you’re using this template. As long as you follow your tool assignments, then your brainstorming session will have structure and will be easy to follow.
Step 1 – Title: With your large tool, write what you want to solve for or ideate on in the middle of your canvas.
Step 2 – Start Ideation Phase: With your medium tool, write as many ideas as you can think of while jumping around the page like popcorn. It is helpful at this stage to focus on what your needs are in regard to the issue you’re solving for.
Step 3 – Continue Ideation Phase: With your small tool, go back through all of your ideas and write any thoughts you have in connection to them. Focus on what these needs can do for the problem you are solving for.
Step 4 – Evaluation Phase: Go through all of your ideas and using color, try finding the elements that are standing out for you.
Step 5 – Organize your Ideas: Using your visual notes, start creating a summary. This can be another visual note created in the same manner, but more organized and thoughtful. You can also capture it in a text document. This is the stage to find out what works for you and whomever you may be presenting these ideas to.
Visual Brainstorming Technique 2: Groupthink
The first technique can be done either by yourself or in a group setting, but this technique only works with a team. It is the most helpful when your starting point for your brainstorm is a little vague. Maybe you can’t pinpoint what the actual issue or solution is. Maybe you have too many to traverse and you need to narrow it down. Whatever it is, this technique can help!
Step 1 – Title: Everyone gets their own sheet of paper. On this sheet of paper with their large tool, they should write down or draw what they are struggling with within the center of the page. This initial idea or concept should be as simple as possible. There shouldn’t be paragraphs or a large intricate image. Just a couple of words and/or a simple drawing.
Step 2 – Start the Ideation Phase: This paper then gets passed to someone else. With their medium tool, this person should expand on the initial idea/drawing with their thoughts in text and/or image form.
Step 3 – Continue the Ideation Phase: The paper is passed again to someone else. With their smallest tool, they expand even further on these ideas and thoughts. They can start connecting and grouping ideas or adding conceptual visuals. Whatever feels right!
Step 4 – Evaluation Phase: The paper is passed back to the initial individual. They can then take color and start highlighting what speaks to them or what they find interesting. Then using their medium and small tools, add anything else that comes to mind.
Step 5 – Organize your Ideas: Grabbing a new sheet of paper, you want to summarize the findings in a way that makes sense.
Improve your note-taking
Want to learn more about visual note-taking from the pros? We’re teaching a live workshop in September! Join us for 2 days of a deep dive into visual note-taking fundamentals.
Visual Note-Taking 101
Our online full-day workshop is a visual note-taking bootcamp in 6 hours over two days. We cover the fundamental skills our artists have practiced and perfected to take your visual note-taking to the next level.