It is probably the most used and powerful idea generation tools but also one of the most misunderstood. The aim of the method is to generate as many ideas as possible in a reduced amount of time. In order to do so, specific rules of behaviour must be set and respected.

When is it useful?

This method is generally used at the beginning of your ideation phase, but it could be used at any moment for generating ideas when new issues or challenges come up in your project.


Ideally 3 to 10 participants from very diverse backgrounds or interests.

Time & Materials

Preparation time: 1 hour

Development time: 1 hour

Materials needed: Sticky notes, markers and a big wall!


  • Aim for quantity, not the quality of ideas
  • Encourage wild ideas
  • Separate the production of ideas from the selection of ideas. Generate first, select later
  • Do not criticize the ideas of others implicitly (by your gestures) or explicitly (reacting verbally to the idea)
  • Do not praise ideas that you find particularly interesting either
  • One conversation at a time
  • When an idea comes up, quickly find a headline for it and move on: headlines should quickly capture the essence of the ideas, do not let the group stall into one long complex idea

Step by Step

It outlines the sequence of events that should take place for the tool to be successfully implemented. We suggest the outline to be made in the form of steps.

STEP 01:

STEP 02:

STEP 03:

STEP 04:


Important things to keep in mind when using the tool

Video tutorial

This is a video from the Standford University d. school on Brainstorming In their approach, there is one note taker who writes down the participant's ideas.

IDEO has a slightly different approach, where each participant writes down one idea per sticky note and hands it to the facilitator. Here you can watch an example of a short brainstorming session

Examples of outcomes

It shows different forms of outcomes for the tool.

It provides the link to other related tools in the ToolBox


It lists the different text, video, audio, visual academic and non academic sources for this particular description

Example : Lallemand, C. & Gronier, G. (2016). Méthodes de design UX. Eyrolles