Rapid Concepting

Rapid Concepting

Rapid concept sketching is a method used to quickly generate solution ideas for a specific design challenge. You may be asking, why rapid? It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of an initial idea – we want to push past the most obvious solution to get to something innovative.

30 Minutes
1 Facilitator
1 Floater
Writing Utensils
Step One: Refer to your design challenge statement.

It’s important to refer back to what you are trying to solve for so that you are sure to stay focused in the right direction. Does your idea answer the challenge? It is easy for people to stray from what they are trying to solve for during Ideation. Keep the statement handy so you can quickly reference it as you go.

Step Two: Set a timer for five minutes and begin sketching.

Limiting time to five minutes will prompt people to move quickly and not worry about the details of their concept. We’re looking for quantity, not quality at this point. Each person should produce as many concepts as they can within that time frame. They are not all going to work and that is fine!

Step Three: Share out your ideas.

Depending upon the size of the group, we tend to share out in two ways. First, we have people share their ideas with their small tables (usually groups of six or so). We ask that each person share even the concepts they don’t like, as they could spark a good idea from someone else. Then, we ask for each table to share out the one to two they liked best. This is also helpful for sparking new ideas and allows people to build off of each other’s concepts.

Step Four: Set a timer for five minutes and do a second round of sketching.

Encourage people to produce new ideas or iterations on what they just heard and not focus on detailing a concept they produced in round one. We want to continue to generate in this step, and will get to building out the most promising concepts later.

Step Five: Share out your new ideas.

Each person will share out their new ideas with their table first, then again have each table choose the ones they liked the best to share with the larger group. Facilitator should encourage questions and comments, and begin leading the group to think about how to narrow these concepts to a handful to continue exploring.