seempli ideate™ guide


seempli ideate™ is the ultimate ideation game. Its goal: to help you generate as many surprising, creative, even crazy ideas in the context of a concrete challenge or opportunity you face.

The game is designed for infinite play. With billions of surprising playsets, you can play with seempli ideate™ every day, several times a day. Every time you play, you will generate new ideas even in the context of the same opportunity. How? Because your brain is already designed to do so. seempli ideate™ just creates the setup for your creativity to shine.

This short guide will help you get familiar with the different playing modes and make the most of them. As you will see, this is just the starting point. The real power of seempli ideate™ is that you can take it as far as your imagination goes.

defining your opportunity

The purpose of ideation is to generate ideas. Ideas can spontaneously appear out of the blue with no context at all. In fact, playing seempli create™ is a great way to generate such ideas. With seempli ideate™, however, our goal is to generate ideas in a predefined context: to address a challenge, solve a problem, or decide how to pursue an opportunity. To simplify things (and to create some positive vibes), we shall address all these use cases as opportunities.

So, the first step of playing the ideation game is to define your opportunity. We’ll do that by creating our own Seed card. Simply put, a Seed is a textual trigger we use to explore, discover, and imagine. When you phrase your opportunity as a Seed, use 1 to 5 words. Don’t go for a complete description of the challenge. We aim for simple phrasing that is open to interpretations and fusions. Avoid any technical details, assumptions, and limitations. Just write plainly and shortly what it is you are trying to achieve.

Let’s say we have a task to design a new generation of keyboards. This seems like quite an open challenge, but we can easily fall into the trap of phrasing it with too many details or constraints. Examples of such restrictions are the materials we are expected to use, our production budget, or what we think we know about ergonomics and how keyboards are used today. Any of those and many other real (or false) limitations must be ignored for most of this game. To avoid this trap, let’s phrase the opportunity in the most straightforward way possible.

Keyboard

The next step, still in the realm of our opportunity, is to take the Seed we have defined and come up with as many associations as possible. So, here’s a list of things we associatively thought about in the context of a keyboard. Some of them are derived from breaking down the concept of a keyboard into its elements and aspects. Other associations are really the result of letting our mind wander. As always, anything goes. The only rule is that each association should be phrased with no more than 3 words.

  • keys
  • letters
  • writing
  • click sound
  • mistakes
  • material
  • size
  • office
  • black
  • language
  • hands
  • fingers
  • typing
  • gaming
  • words

At this point, we have what we need to explore various sources of inspiration. This is where the magic happens, but don’t underestimate the importance of what we have done until now. The definition of the opportunity and the diversity and richness of the associations are essential to the success of the ideation game. So, invest some time in this step. If you later think about a better phrasing for the opportunity seed or additional associations, feel free to go back and refine this step.

getting inspired

Ideas can originate from anything we come across. What we experience and observe is the raw material in the generation of new creative ideas. seempli ideate™ includes four types of inspiration sources. Each of them opens up infinite options for surprising fusions and ideas.

You can play with one inspiration source at a time or combine a few of them. To simplify this guide, we will explore them one by one. But remember, this is just one option for playing.

Our goal in this step of the game is to generate as many ideas as possible. In this step only quantity counts. Trying to evaluate the quality of each idea at this point will stand in the way of your creative flow.

Apply no filter to the ideas you collect during this part of the ideation game. aim for as many ideas as possible. Do not consider their feasibility or value. The crazier the idea is, the better, but even the plainest ideas will do perfectly.

Do not dismiss any idea!

Inspiration 1: some random seeds

Using additional Seeds as inspiration is easy. We start by picking two random Seeds and listing free associations (just like we did with the opportunity Seed).

Take for example these two Seeds:

Focusing just on these two Seeds, we came up with the following associations (and there could be many, many more of course):

  • show
  • magic
  • escape
  • water
  • disappear
  • blind
  • danger
  • illusion
  • speed
  • stone
  • sand
  • desert
  • triangle
  • symbols
  • warm
  • 3D
  • anomaly

Now, for the fun part. We take the three Seeds and the numerous associations we wrote down, and we try to fuse them together. The more unrelated the concepts seem to be at first, the more potential the fusion has. And from each such fusion, we try to develop a surprising idea and let the idea evolve a bit.

Here are some ideas we came up with based on these associations. Remember: don’t judge them!

  • The first idea is to create a luxury keyboard with keys made from stone. Of course, Stone was one of the Pyramid associations we wrote down, but other variants can emerge from this idea, such as Titanium Keys, Gold Keys, etc. Remember, we are not dismissing anything at this point, and we are not judging the feasibility or value of the idea.
  • The next idea is based on a different fusion: less frequently used letters will gradually disappear from the keyboard for less distraction as you are typing. Of course, you would be able to reset the keyboard so that all keys will reappear. Feasible? Effective? We don’t really care at this point! Let’s continue…
  • How about some 3D keys? Imagine one side is for letters, and another side is used for symbols or shortcuts? How will you type on such a keyboard? That’s not important at this stage. If we decide to continue to develop this idea later, we will obviously have to address this question, and maybe the entire design will prove to be infeasible. But for now, we just collect crazy ideas.
  • The next fusion threw us to a different domain: ergonomics. We know this is an essential aspect of the typing experience. When combined with anomaly (which we wrote down as an association to Pyramid) and danger (a word derived from the Houdini Seed), we came up with the idea for a keyboard that warns you when there are ergonomic anomalies in the way you type. Something like the strength in which you type, the angle of your wrists, the unbalanced usage of your hands, etc.
  • The next fusion evolved as we played. It started with three words: language, show, and letters. As someone who types in two languages, the idea that came up from this combination was for a keyboard that indicates which language you are using (similar to the Caps-Lock indicator available on many keyboards). But then, the word disappear caught our eyes, and immediately after that, the term Illusion. The next idea was quite immediate. Instead of having two sets of letters engraved on the keys, make only one set visible. Then, if you switch language, the other set becomes visible instead. And how about adding an illusion touch to it. What if we could change the language’s visibility by physically changing the keyboard’s orientation (like turning it 180 degrees to expose the second set of letters)?

These are just a few examples. Some of them sound cool, while others might seem ridiculous. Nevertheless, we keep a record of all of them. When played in a group, any of these ideas is likely to trigger new associations and insights. So continue this step as long as you are in a state of flow.

inspiration 2: a playground

Let’s play with another inspiration source. This time, we will keep the opportunity we have defined and its associations in mind and explore a playground. Some playgrounds are physical places like a street or an unfamiliar room. Other Playgrounds are conceptual or virtual, like a family album or Wikipedia.

When we explore the Playground, we look for things we can fuse with our opportunity or its associations. Like the fusions we came up with in the previous inspiration source, the more surprising and strange the fusion is, the better.

Let’s explore for example this Playground:

So, we used Google Maps and felt like visiting Paris. We dropped the Street View figure in a random street and slowly and mindfully looked around and explored the area where we landed. While doing so, we kept the opportunity Seed in mind, and with each thing that caught our attention, we tried to create associations and fusions with Keyboard. Here’s what we saw and what we came up with:

  • A storefront decoration that looked like a snowflake: a keyboard that cools your hands while typing.
  • A wall made of stones in different sizes: a keyboard with keys that change their shape dynamically based on the letters you use more frequently.
  • A building with black-and-white stripes: a keyboard playing musical notes while typing (in some sense, the building looked like a piano).
  • Chocolatier store: a keyboard with keys for tastes and smells.
  • Building with the number 42: a keyboard that types on screen the answer when you type a question (a reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams)

Anything we see around us when exploring the Playground might lead to an association, and when combined with or projected on our opportunity Seed, an idea is formed. We avoid questioning these ideas, being judgmental, or skeptical. We just list any idea, no matter how crazy it sounds. The more ideas we generate — the better.

Again, when playing in a group, each of the ideas raised might trigger a chain of new associations and ideas. Make sure to let the discussion flow. Your best idea might be around the corner.

Inspiration 3: creating something

The next source of inspiration is to create something inspired by the opportunity Seed and its associations. We are not trying to build a real keyboard, obviously, but rather write a story, or create a short video, or any other form of expression. By doing so, we take a detour. We keep thinking about the concept of a keyboard, but we play with it in a completely different way or medium — something we don’t usually do.

To spice things up a bit, you can blend in another random Seed. Often, this will help the ideas flow more naturally, as it will take you farther from the real challenge occupying you.

Let’s write a story, for example:

And to spice up the story we will use this random Seed on top of our Keyboard opportunity:

Now, without overthinking, and with these two triggers, the Seed and our opportunity, we start to write a short story. As you will soon see, this is not something we do every day, but, as you remember, the quality of the outcome is not important…

She stared at the blinking green cursor on the black monitor.

 ‘C’

It was hypnotizing. Somewhere in there, she could see her blurred reflection, but she forced herself to focus on the green pixels.

‘H’

The air in the small space was cold. She knew it was way warmer than the void outside, but she couldn’t help imagine the emptiness creeping in. She felt the old monitor glowing. It was the only apparent source of heat around.

‘O’

The room was perfectly white. The only things that broke the infinite whiteness were the monitor, a black cube, and a small window through which she couldn’t see much.

‘C’

The black cube behind her started to hum as if it knew it was time to warm up and get into action. For days she’s been staring at this box, trying to figure out if it can be of any use. She wondered if it will work.

‘O’

She thought she might be dreaming, but it seemed so real. The strange sound became stronger. Or maybe it was only her who couldn’t ignore it anymore. It sounded like something was spinning inside the cube.

‘L’

The emptiness she felt was replaced with faint hope. Could it be? She allowed herself to smile, if only for a second. Could it be that simple? Could it be so surreal?

‘A’

For a second, she thought about home. It seemed like a million lightyears away. Is it? If she closed her eyes, will she be there when she wakes up?

‘T’

She could have typed faster, but she enjoyed the space between keystrokes. If she is about to get disappointed, there’s no sense in rushing things.

‘E’

The humming cube changed its pitch. She couldn’t stand it. Now she just hoped it would stop when she pressed

‘ENTER’

Without any warning, the room became quiet again. Then, without any sound, a previously invisible hatch on the side of the cube opened. She approached it slowly. The inside of the cube was bright white, like the room itself. Without any apparent effort, she went inside.

It was everything she hoped for.

Now, let’s read our award-winning story, connect parts of it to the Keyboard concept, and see what ideas come out of it.

  • A keyboard that visualizes what you type
  • A keyboard producing white noise to help you focus
  • A noise-canceling keyboard for better focus
  • A keyboard inspired by an old monitor with green letters
  • A keyboard you can turn inside out (maybe to use another set of keys, or just to change colors).
  • A keyboard that slows you down. After every word or every sentence (depends on the user’s settings), it prevents you from typing for a few seconds. Any keystroke during this pause is not recorded — it is just ignored, so you really have to slow down.

These ideas can be crazy, improbable, useless, groundbreaking, or just a minor design evolution. Anything goes, and we are not judging or analyzing anything just yet. The more ideas we have, and as crazy as they might be, the better. We go for sheer quantity at this step.

inspiration 4: a constraint

Constraints can throw us in a different direction in an ideation process. It might sound counterintuitive, but adding a random constraint can be a source of inspiration.

Some of the Constraint cards affect what you create. Others affect your environment or add a limit to how you play. Either way, when you apply the Constraint to the process of thinking about your opportunity, some surprising things might happen. This is a good point to remind you that while this guide walks you through each inspiration source separately, you can combine different elements from different sources. So, you can take the Constraint, for example, and apply it to the thing you create using inspiration 3 or your Playground exploration in inspiration 2.

Here’s the random Constraint we are playing with:

Let’s apply it to the concept of keyboard and the associations we have listed above. All our ideas must be related in some way to clothes.

  • Soft keyboard from some sort of fabric.
  • Fabric cover for a keyboard.
  • Round keys (like the buttons on a shirt or a coat).
  • Obviously… a wearable keyboard. But not just as an add-on to what you wear. Let’s embed the keyboard in a coat or a belt. Or (maybe more naturally) a glove.
  • A costume for a keyboard: some sort of sleeve you put on your keyboard and changes not only the keyboard’s appearance but also its functionality (for example, switching language or replacing the characters with application-specific commands and shortcuts).

Notice how we use clothes directly for some ideas, but the concept of clothes (something that covers something else changing its appearance but also adding functionality) in others. As in the other games, there is no right or wrong answer or approach. Any inspiration and any idea are perfect.

analyzing your ideas

seempli ideate™ is designed to help you generate as many ideas as possible. This is the divergent thinking phase. Now that you have a pool of ideas, it is time to start analyzing them and find the ones that can really help you address your opportunity. This is the convergent thinking phase.

We recommend starting with a quick analysis of all the ideas you came up with. Discuss each idea for a few minutes with your team or other parties and try to understand if it might have value and how feasible it is. Some (maybe even most) of the ideas will prove irrelevant even after this quick analysis. This is perfectly natural and even desired. We recommend keeping a record of these ideas for future reference, as some of them might surprise you in the future.

During the analysis and discussion, allow some ideas to evolve. Don’t limit the discussion to the ideas you already wrote down. Quite often, you will generate another round of ideas during this step. Some of them will derive directly from previous ideas. Other ideas will seem to appear out of thin air. Add all of them to the pool of ideas and discuss them as well.

The ideas that pass this initial analysis will surely require more research and deeper analysis. Decide which of the ideas to pursue, but keep in mind that they too might be found to be infeasible or ineffective as you move forward. That is why we recommend playing seempli ideate™ throughout the project. Ideation will help you find ideas, solutions, and surprising twists along the way.

Need additional guidance?

Our workshops and mentoring sessions will help you realize your creative potential and apply it to everything you do.


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