Ready to imagine a solution for your client?

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Ideate is all about turning problems into solutions.

Remember your POV Problem Statement? Let’s use it to generate as many solutions as we can. The more the better!

(Person’s Name + Descriptor)
needs a way to
(Verb about deeper problem)
in a way that
(Lets them do something)

To ideate, you’re going to do three things:


Cluster Into Groups



First, to brainstorm solutions, you’ll need Post-It Notes again (or the cool app you used) so you can put each idea in a separate place.

When you defined the problem, you started by collecting details. Now, come up with as many ideas as you can to solve that problem. Don’t hold back!

Start by dreaming BIG. Consider:

  • What are the craziest ways you can imagine to solve your client’s problem?
  • How many different ideas for a solution can you create?
  • How might you combine ideas to make an even more original solution?

Keep going and don’t judge, just come up with as many ideas as you can — then come up with a few more. Don’t worry if some of your ideas have been tried before or already exist. Think about how you can make them better or change them to meet your client’s identity, needs, and goals?

Brainstorm on your own, then invite others to brainstorm solutions with you. If you are working in a team, build on ideas by saying, “Yes, and…” rather than shutting down ideas you don’t like.

Got at least 20 ideas? Write them in the IDEATE section of your DesignBook. One of these might be a “winning” solution!


Second, you guessed it! It’s time to cluster, again.

Just like before, you’re going to cluster and group ideas. Only THIS time, you’re grouping your ideas for solutions. Look for what is similar or related and put those together.


  • What patterns do you see?
  • What inspires you or excites you?
  • What will best meet the identity, needs and goals of your client?

Are all of your ideas clustered into groups? Yes? Now it’s time to narrow them down to your winning solution.


Third, let’s narrow! Narrowing to just one big idea can be hard.

You may have a lot of ideas that could work but it’s important to select one you will actually build and test.


  • What are your three favorite ideas?
  • Do each of these ideas match your POV Problem Statement?
  • Which idea (or combination of ideas) will BEST solve your client’s problem?

Got your idea ready? Great!

Now, choose the idea you’re most excited to work on. This will be the idea you prototype.

Got a winner? Write a short, clear explanation of your winning idea and put it into the IDEATE section of your DesignBook.

Here’s where you are on your journey…

Next Up: Prototype

In the Ideate phase, you let your mind roam free and picked a winning solution. Now it’s time to make something that helps you share and test your idea in the real world.