The Iterative Design Process

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Readings (reading critiques need to be submitted by 9:00AM the day of the lecture)

Reading Critiques

Jonathan Hanobik 16:34:56 1/12/2017

In reading the article about brainstorming, I have learned much more about a topic I had once considered a laborious and boring chore. What I think is most important about this article are the "rules" for how to stimulate a good "brainstormer" and also how to kill one. In my past, a lot of the rules for what NOT to do in a brainstormer were broken, as discussion leaders would often narrow all talk or force ideas from people. From this article, I really took away that great ideas come from unbounded, imaginative, and open discussions from any person. I'm eager to utilize my changed ideas of brainstorming in the software development process.

Vivien Chang 18:23:32 1/14/2017

This reading was a nice overview of Java that helped refresh my memory about the basics of Java and some other topics pertaining to coding in Java.

Emily Hanna 1:50:04 1/15/2017

The article we read for this class was about brainstorming. The author explained to the reader that while brainstorming may appear simple, in order to achieve a highly effective and efficient brainstorm session there are guidelines to follow. The author goes on to describe some of these (ie sessions should be only about 1 hour long, write only the brainstormed ideas, aim for about 100 ideas etc) and uses examples from his workplace, IDEO, to illustrate these points. From this reading I learned some benefits of brainstorming and methods to enhance a session of brainstorming. However some sections were unnecessarily repetitive and the author's overuse of idioms made other sections less than clear.

Chevaughn Berry 1:51:28 1/15/2017

The set of readings focused on the topic of brainstorming. Particularly, they focused on using brainstorming as a tool to efficiency come up with new ideas. Using a variety of examples, techniques, and mantras the reading provided a plethora of new tools that ones organization may use to introduce new innovations to their workplace. The readings have shown that the concept of brainstorming is a bit more comprehensive when looked upon more than superficially. Admittedly, I did find some sections somewhat ambiguous and verbose, but overall I thought it was a decent one-time read.

Nick Miller 9:37:42 1/15/2017

Brainstorming is a technique at which if it is done right then it can be very successful but there are things that can really bog it down. Spending to much time brainstorming can just make it ineffective, so the best amount of time is about an hour or an hour and a half. There are seven secrets to brainstorm which I found the most important for beginning to work in groups to do some mental activities in order to get the group going. There are also the six ways to kill brainstorms which I think the one to watch out for most is to not spend the whole time taking notes on everything, but take notes on important ideas.

Timothy Smith 18:05:27 1/15/2017

Brainstorming seems to be something that is taken for granted, and not taken particularly seriously. But, the importance of the process is invaluable, especially if you focus on sharpening the focus, having playful rules, numbering your ideas, building and jumping, embracing spatial memory, warming up beforehand, and having physical aspects to the brainstorming session. The biggest thing I got from the article is to embrace and encourage creativity, and maintaining the focus of the session to get the most out of it. It’s easy to get off topic and have an unorganized session, so it’s important to have a good leader of the session. Overall, I thought the reading was informative and some of the tips and tricks will hopefully stick with me for the future.

Ariella Hanna 11:15:17 1/16/2017

I think this reading on brainstorming was very eye-opening. I had always thought of brainstorming before as just thinking up the idea that was going to be used and how we would implement it. Now, I can see that there is a lot of benefit to use to brainstorming to think of a large quantity of ideas before even deciding which one to go with. I think it's really good how Kelley strongly encourages participation from everyone in the brainstorming session, since I think this is how you get perspectives you wouldn't have thought of and can generate really innovative ideas.

Kyle Plump 12:55:05 1/16/2017

I liked today's reading. I agree that brainstorming is important. A common thought (as brought up in the article) is that brainstorming is a waste of time. But, it helps put everybody on the same page, and it avoids inconsistencies later in the development of a project. So it anything, brainstorming SAVES time in the long run. I knew this on a high level, but I liked how this article dives into the the specifics of what makes a good or bad brainstorm. It's a topic that isn't talked about as much as it should be.

Spencer Cousino 15:38:34 1/16/2017

I thought the reading on brainstorming was fantastic. It was a great way to reevaluate what brainstorming is and how to do it properly. It gave a loose structure to an activity that should have no structure, and it did so in a way that does not compromise it. My only grievance with the material is I felt in when explaining certain facets of brainstorming it lacked concrete examples of implementation.

Michael Zheng 16:25:09 1/16/2017

Overall, there were many things the article pointed out that never came to mind. Brainstorming sessions for me have always felt more like a meeting that just consisted of everybody taking turns speaking about the current issue. But having things like warm up exercises and encouraging silly ideas aren't detrimental to the session. they help create a positive atmosphere that allows people to view problems from new and unusual perspectives.

Louis Seefeld 17:20:44 1/16/2017

The reading on brainstorming seemed to offer a great deal of personal experience. I appreciated that it highlighted both good and bad practices to avoid pitfalls. I'm not sure that this style of brainstorming is appropriate in every work setting, but for those that it is, I could see myself using the advice and being much more productive than if I had tried on my own.

JasonTucker 19:15:40 1/16/2017

The reading for today was a chapter on the java language. It was mostly a review on various java functionalities, such as polymorphism and collections. Most of the subject matter was review of earlier java-centric cs classes, but the thread relate stuff was new to me.

Chad Pongratz 20:13:39 1/16/2017

The assigned reading had to deal with brainstorming and went into detail to describe that it's an often overlooked but essential and energizing part of the design process when looking for new ideas to develop upon. The company discussing this topic went on to say that it is a very important part of their company where they use it as sort of a benchmark to make sure people are normally stretching their minds and getting to be clever and witty. They further describe how it's not just wanting a specific item as your proposal to focus your brainstorm around but you would rather want to leave it open so you can jump around and have a wider range of ideas to build upons. They personally have a very organized approach that involves a possible warm-up sessions and occasionally targeted goals for a number of ideas. They then further describe this process but caution to be wary of pitfalls of being too critical or negative of ideas, etc. ..... I think this article was interesting and would agree that brainstorming would be beneficial if not even just to stretch your mind and flex your brain muscles. Moreover, I think it would help produce a lot of good ideas and stimulate energy on a team especially in a work environment whereas you would get to get up from your desk and participate in a high energy/visualized environment.

Kyle Legters 21:37:11 1/16/2017

This reading discussed in great detail the art of brainstorming. It discussed both methods to make a successful brainstorm, and methods that will kill a brainstorm. Utilizing the ideas discussed in this reading could be very helpful in coming up with an idea for our final project.

Christopher Thompson 21:48:06 1/16/2017

I thought this article was helpful since we're about to brainstorm ideas for our group project. Before reading this I never thought of brainstorming as a skill which you could get better at. I also didn't realize that writing everything down during a session switches on the wrong side of your brain for brainstorming.

Jason Ly 21:53:32 1/16/2017

The reading was about strategies and aspects of good brainstorming sessions. I thought it was interesting that the group that visited the toy store presented higher quality and quantity of ideas. I really liked the idea of visual brainstorming, for me I don’t enjoy trying to interpret what people say since it might not be what they intended. Having them draw it out lets me understand their vision a lot better than what I perceive their vision to be. The six ways to kill a brainstormer was new to me, as most of these tactics were implemented throughout my school career and enforced by professors, such as everyone getting a turn to speak, silly stuff was usually looked down upon and that we had to write down everything.

Gabriel Larson 22:07:59 1/16/2017

I thought the comparison of brainstorming to an art such as playing the piano was very interesting. I find it interesting that 76 percent of professionals admit to brainstorming once a month. I like the idea that brainstorming shouldn't feel like work according to the author and agree with it. I like the 7 secrets, my favorite is the idea of building on ideas and jumping between them and how to do it effectively. The way that IDEO has developed their brainstorming sessions sounds like a very fun and creative way to get alot of work done. hopefully in our groups we can duplicate the success!

Michael Smith 22:25:37 1/16/2017

Brainstorm - a spontaneous group discussion to produce ideas and ways of solving problems. I agree brain is a muscle that needs constant flexing and exercising. The more often it occurs, the stronger the brain becomes. A clear, well defined description of the problem we are looking to solve is crucial. As explained in lecture, before the developer can proceed with implementation knowing the problem is important or else they might develop something completely different from what the customer envisioned. The problem description should also be flexible. I disagree with the author why wouldn’t you want to debate ideas or critique others? Criticism can be helpful and can shut down a bad idea before it has a chance to start. Although the author is emphasizing quantity of ideas, quality is also important. Visualizing a process or concept is definitely important. It helps people understand connections and related ideas. The physical brainstorming seems interesting, having people physically see and feel ideas and objects is helpful in order to better grasp it. Although the author argues against the boss speaking first shouldn’t the boss be able to give direction for the group? Also the author advocates against the Everyone getting a turn. How will the more quiet individuals of the group contribute and participate if they don’t necessarily want to blurt out their answer or idea?

Timothy Platts 22:34:36 1/16/2017

I honestly never knew there could be so much to brainstorming. I liked how this reading defined how one should approach a problem - with enough specificity to be useful, but not so much that your brainstorming is limited. The bike example was very helpful. Hopefully my group can try to apply this to our brainstorming for our project this semester.

Brett Schuck 22:44:39 1/16/2017

I like how the article begins by warning the reader of common misconceptions regarding brainstorming. This helped me look at brainstorming in a new way, and helped to point out some of the inefficiencies in my brainstorming. I also enjoyed how the author organized the piece to go into detail on several things that make a great brainstormer, then several more things that would make a bad brainstormer. This just helped to keep the piece coherent and made it easier to take away the relevant information from the paper.

Kevin Nash 2:00:18 1/17/2017

The readings focused on the dos and don'ts of brainstorming, which is when a group of people try to come up with new and innovative products. The excerpt was very good at explaining un-intuitive parts of a very simple process. It did however, lack some of the follow ups to a brainstorming session. For example, it advises not to write everything down, but this would seem like a good step if the group wants to follow up on the actual ideas that are mentioned. Overall, it got its point across but maybe lacked the next step (which may be in further readings).

Ben Kristofic 2:37:46 1/17/2017

I liked this article a lot, because it brought a process to something I did not realize there could be a process for. Brainstorming is an incredibly important part to any sort of app development and while the concept might seem abstract, this article pointed out methods and techniques that we can employ to have more effective and powerful brainstorming sessions. It was a helpful read.

Colin Schultz 3:13:17 1/17/2017

I found it interesting that the author said that the first step is to come up with a problem statement. This will guide the brainstorming session in a helpful way. I think this is a really good tip because I feel the hardest part of brainstorming is where to start. Also, numbering your ideas was interesting. It seems like such a small thing, and it makes me curious how well it works. I will try to use that from now until the day I die.

Sakae Nakahara 8:15:32 1/17/2017

Even before reading this article, I readily admit I haven't actually done much significant brainstorming since elementary school. So I don't have much real life experience to draw basis or comparison from when forming a response to this article. What I do have is my pre-conceptions formed when I think of "brainstorming", and for the most part, this article has been a real eye-opener. I've always thought of brainstorming to be very "freestyle" with literally no rules. And while it is supposed to be open-ended, brainstorming still has a semblance of structure to it, with hard rules of what should and shouldn't be allowed. It's like Mark Rosewater, head designer of Magic: The Gathering TCG, says: "limitation breeds creativity". I think the rule that enlightened me the most is the usage of spatial memory. I hadn't considered the fact that an ever-shifting scenery triggers one cognitive thought when it returns to a previous scene, but it makes sense. It's similar to how when I forget an idea I just had, I replay the thought process in my head; I'm looking through the mental images I formed to try to trigger something familiar. Another surprising one was the pitfall of writing everything down. At first, this seemed contradictory to the previously mentioned ideas of encouraging any idea and writing them down everywhere. On a closer inspection, I realize the article is referring to writing too much instead of just what's necessary and focusing on the brainstorming. I'm not sure I completely agree with this one; I feel it can vary person to person, and some people can get new inspiration from re-reading words, just as some people do from spatial memory. There were also some parts of the article I felt were obvious or a given, particularly the ones regarding allowing everyone to participate and all ideas to be accepted. After all, good ideas can come from unexpected sources.

Anthony Tummillo 8:45:49 1/17/2017

What most stuck in my mind from today's reading was that I was reminded of the importance of making sure everyone's ideas felt welcome in a brainstorm. It is more important to get a lot of ideas which vary widely than to work on only a few that may be too narrow to really find an innovative solution, and this can only happen when everyone involved feels unhindered and free to come up with and propose whatever solution comes to their mind. I also really enjoyed that the reading included six common errors to watch out for that many people make while brainstorming; I used to make the first mistake, which involves the group leader or "boss" starting off the brainstorm, often.

Christen Reinbeck 14:36:01 1/17/2017

I think the idea of an ice breaker is a great idea, especially with our upcoming group project where we don’t know each other. The article mentioned spatial recognition and having a physical copy of the brainstorm. I think this will be useful for looking back and elaborating on multiple ideas. An unstructured, loose brainstorming meeting seems to have better results so I look forward to trying it.

Zhenya Lindsay 08:10:12 1/17/2017

Working in a CIS department in a company, I realize how crucial brainstorming is. Some ideas get implemented without proper discussion and end up hurting the users and requiring extra work afterwards. I really liked the suggestion of "numbering your ideas" and I think this could work when you brainstorm yourself. Sometimes, it seems like the idea you came up with is good enough and you do not need to think more but if you push just a little more and try to come up with a better idea, then the result might surprise you. On the other hand, having to go to a toy store for a warm up sounds really great as well.