Where to start a brainstorming session

We all have this adrenaline rush when it comes to starting a new project. You gather all the info, make a good debrief and then it's time to start generating ideas. And that's precisely the moment when you go "now what?".

A good brainstorming session is a beautiful combination of order, chaos and then order again. Necessarily in that sequence. 

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For avoiding wasting your team's time, you should have somewhere to start. It's like preparing the ground before you plant the seeds. The easiest way to do it is by sketching a list of components that will work as a starting point. These elements have to be related to the briefing and will serve as an input for the creatives.

Here are some examples:

Library of elements
Map out things related to your brief. Objects that you need to include, keywords and technology you can use. Whatever that feels relevant.

Focus
If you want to have a strategic approach, try writing down a list of concepts that will need our attention. Some examples; useful in the user's routine, disruptive tool or inclusive to all users. 

Brand values
It's especially useful when you are working for a client with a strong personality. Note down all the brand values and use them as guidelines for your ideas.

Users needs
It's essential for projects that are user-centric. You could map out needs, considerations and demands from your target group.

Context
An open approach could be to list elements that are around your problem. It's like making a mind map of your challenge.

We recommend noting all these components in post-its or cards and having them spread out around the table. When you are ready, use them to build ideas by combining some or just as an inspiration.

In that way, your team won't start from zero, and it will be easier to kickstart your project.