The mobile app development agency that I work for, Codal, recently introduced a new project exercise called iDays (or Innovation Days).
An Innovation Day is an extremely collaboaration ideation session that takes place in the discovery phase of a project. However, it is different than just any brainstorming session mostly because of who is involved. Typically, we will involve our ux ui research team, chicago app developers, visual designers, and even the clients.
The ideas that come from these Innovation Days are diverse in a sense, the approaches that a developer, versus the end user or the designer may take could all be different. However, it’s good to receive perspectives of all parties in order to come up with the best, most usable ideas.
How do you run an iDay?
Once the team that is participating has been assembles, it’s time to collect your materials. You’ll need post it’s (as a UX design company, we go through tons of post it’s per week), questions, prompts, and a timer.
The prompts are usually kept general and open ended. An example prompt could be “what do you think about the menu?”
On the other hand, some prompts can be much more detailed. When an iDay is conducted after a research phase, questions will be much more specific. For example, in a dating app project at Codal, research found that user’s may sometimes feel unsafe while using any type of dating app. A great prompt after this research could be “how can we make the user feel safe while using the app?”
Once a prompt is posed, everyone has “X” amount of seconds to write down as many ideas as they can on post it notes. Once the timer is up, each iDay participant goes around and discusses their ideas. Typically these ideas spark a meaningful conversation about their ideas and solutions.
The leader of the iDay then takes the post it note and places it in a category on the whiteboard. Once everyone has shared their ideas,another prompt is given, and the cycle starts again.
Once an iDay is completed, the room is completely filled with sticky notes.
It is then the UX designers job to break down the data that was received from the iDay. Both qualitative and quantitative data are usually collected.
Introducing iDays into our Software Development Lifecycle has allowed Codal to come up with very scalable and innovative solutions.