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Brainwriting

Brainwriting is a paper-based brainstorming technique. It helps a newly-formed or culturally diverse team share and build upon ideas in a less verbal, and therefore less socially demanding, way.

Originally developed in Germany in 1968, it was called 6-3-5 Brainwriting based on the numerical aspects of the technique: 6 people were asked to write 3 ideas within 5 minutes. (These numerical values can be changed to suit your enterprise.) Once participants have written their ideas, they share their idea document with other participants, who then add more ideas to it.

Category:
Description

Schedule Time & Gather Materials

Clock Icon

Schedule Time:

  • Time Needed: ~ 35 Minutes
Gather Materials

Gather Materials:

  • Paper
  • Pens and Pencils

Carry Out This Method

Team meets in a conference room
  1. Assemble a group of 4-7 people.
  2. Supply each team member with a sheet of paper and a pen. Describe the problem that needs to be solved.
  3. Tell participants they have 5 minutes to write their ideas. You can ask for as many ideas as possible, or set a 3 idea limit.
  4. After 5 minutes, ask participants to pass their idea document to the person on their right. They then have 5 minutes to read the previous person’s responses and contribute more ideas.
  5. Once every participant has contributed to all of the idea documents, collect them for analysis.

Try These Tips

  • After collecting ideas, your UX team can vote, Affinity Diagram, or hold a discussion to determine the best ideas.
  • To collect ideas from more people, you can use online tools like Google Docs or a large whiteboard at your office. Reserve a document or whiteboard for several days so people can submit ideas.

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