A learn-by-doing community for creative professionals.


November, 2013

Ideation Essentials with Startup KeyMe. Hint: You can do them all for free

At our ideation class last week, we brought in our friend Matt from KeyMe to present a design brief. The class, after learning some essentials of ideation, got to work analyzing the presentation from KeyMe and pitched back their concepts and approaches. Matt stayed to hear the pitches and give feedback. Each team approached the challenge of enhancing the engagement funnel for KeyMe in different ways:

How can we get people to scan keys sooner? People don’t loose their keys every day…so how can we get people to use the product right away and like it?


How can we make the process more viral and easily sharable? Can we help people with language and concepts to make sharing simple?


How might we adapt models and a halo of trust from other industries? Banks, Insurance and Doctors have our trust implicitly. How can KeyMe partner with these industries or model their behaviors to gain instant trust?

Overview Video

Each team adapted a simple ideation strategy:

  1. Lower the bar: How can we get people to learn the value of our product sooner rather than later?
  2. Pass it Along: How can we give people a solid reason or personal value to share?
  3. Adjacent Models: What are other industries doing right that we can learn from?

These three questions are easy and simple prompts that any team can use to drive new concepts. It shouldn’t take long to gather your team together and facilitate a short brainstorm on each. If you want to watch the pitches and hear the feedback for each, check it out here.

You can also download our PDF on ideation here.


User Experience Mapping

One of our community members sent us this:

Fullscreen capture 1182013 70757 PM.bmp

Which reminded me of this:


Mapping user experiences is so essential…without a map, how will you know where to go?

Also, check out Adaptive Path’s resources here and here. They are really awesome and can help you do a deep Experience Inventory that can help guide your design decisions.


Getting out of the Office to meet your customers

Here at The Design Gym one of our core beliefs is that it’s always a good idea to get outside of the office and meet the people you do it all for: your customers, your users, your stakeholders.

We run an intensive weekend workshop about once a month where we make two things happen:

1. Deep and broad learning in the phases of creative design work

2. Realtime experience using those learnings with a real client

Ironically, when we’re making that happen, we rarely have time to stop and look around, as ask the participants how it’s going.

This last weekend, with Marley Coffee, we took some time to ask our guest company, what it feels like to ask a room full of strangers what they think of the challenges they are facing and how to solve them.



What we heard is that it’s a very vulnerable position…one of the guests from Marley described it as


“It’s like standing in front of someone naked and being told you’re fat, when you thought you were in good shape…but it’s good”


The conclusion? In order to really dig in with dynamic, collaborative work, you have to be prepared to be wrong and to accept other perspectives. After all, the people in the room are your customers. If you don’t listen to them, who will you listen to?