The world has changed dramatically in recent years. Now, 9-to-5 office work is not the only option for employers. More and more companies switch to remote (completely or partially), and are hiring outsource teams more willingly. Therefore, the need for efficient remote collaboration tools is higher than ever.
Since now is high time for developing tools that would simplify online teamwork, one of the killer features of such software is brainstorming. To seamlessly generate new ideas, the best and most convenient option for users will be to have ready-made brainstorming templates.
For that reason, our designers at Eleken built 12 creative brainstorm templates, accessible through Figma, to inspire you to make a more convenient way to ideate for your users.
Read on to see all templates.
12 brainstorming template examples for meaningful ideation
Brainstorming is a creative technique by which you make efforts to find solutions for a specific problem by governing a list of ideas. You can conduct brainstorming by yourself or with the whole team.
As there are numerous brainstorming strategies and methods, they require different brainstorming diagram templates for more effective usage.
All of the templates you’ll find below are designed in Figma and you can freely use them for your needs.
Mind mapping is a common and easy-to-use technique that works great to deepen the understanding of the issue, structure the information, find connections between concepts and easily follow the flow of ideas you came up with during brainstorming sessions.
The way you organize mind maps is similar to how the brain works. That’s why this brainstorming session template is suitable for building user flows that help to understand how the customer sees and feels your product from their perspective.
How to use it
Mind map radiates from the center with lines that connect every other word to the main topic and it looks almost like a real map where all the streets converge on the city center.
- Select a problem/main idea and write it down in the center of a mind map.
- Provide as much background information on a topic as possible to your team.
- Create sub-ideas connected with the central topic. Add each thought that comes to your mind without filtering them (you can enrich the map with images, icons, or some references as well).
- Find connections between different ideas.
- Review the map and do a post-mapping discussion with your team.
With the help of mind mapping, you turn tedious loads of data into easy-to-memorize and well-structured diagrams.
Lotus diagram helps to break down complex ideas into numerous related concepts which facilitates discussing the problem from different angles and seeing the broad picture.
How to use it
Lotus diagram is used for a lotus blossom brainstorming technique. The template itself looks like squares/cards with ideas written on them. And here’s how you are supposed to use it:
- Place the main idea, concept, or question in the center of a diagram.
- Think of eight related issues and put them around the central idea (a problem you are trying to solve is never a stand-alone issue).
- For each of those 8 ideas, you then create 16 more creative solutions, and so on.
- Study all the concepts you got at the outcome and analyze how they are connected with the central idea.
As you generate new ideas, the template resembles a lotus flower that unfolds petal by petal. To make this technique more effective, make sure your brainstorming team is diverse and you have representatives from different departments.
The problem of brainstorming is that sometimes you end up with too many ideas that get cluttered, and it becomes difficult to get something useful out of all this information.
Affinity diagram is used to sort generated ideas after an initial brainstorming session. With its help, you organize a large number of concepts and group them according to their affinity. That’s how you are able to carefully analyze all the ideas instead of focusing on one that caught your attention first.
How to use it
Affinity diagrams consist of several blocks that contain ideas grouped by similarities. Here is an instruction on how to use this template:
- Note down all ideas that come to your/team’s mind without thinking about their order.
- Place thoughts that seem related on one side, thus forming several clusters.
- Create a header for each group that summarizes the main point of the cards below.
- Analyze each cluster.
Now an unorganized list of ideas that seemed complex to understand is simplified with the help of an affinity map.
The next template to brainstorm ideas is S.C.A.M.P.E.R. S.C.A.M.P.E.R is an acronym with seven letters each representing a unique technique that can help you see the problem from innovative perspectives and find a creative solution.
How to use it
The template has seven blocks (for 7 letters) and the main issue is put in the center. For each block you ask your team members to think about the solution of the problem using the following filters:
- S for Substitute. Think if there’s anything within the process/product you can replace with another element to make it better (the step in the development process, people involved, and so on).
- C for Combine. Think if you can merge two ideas to make it one, but more effective.
- A for Adapt. Think if there is anything that you can add to make the process/product work better.
- M for Modify. Think if you can make any changes so that you will receive a different process/better product.
- P for Put to another use. Think if there’s any way you can use the product/process in a different way than its initial attended use.
- E for Eliminate. Think if there’s anything in the product/process that you can get rid of.
- R for Reverse. Think if there’s anything in what you are doing that can be rearranged to make the process better.
Passing your thoughts through so many filters, you will come up with innovative and great ideas.
How Now Wow matrix
Though your team can come up with numerous creative ideas during a simple brainstorming session, whenever it’s time to choose the best solution, people tend to pick up the one that is familiar to them and simple to implement.
The How Now Wow matrix template will promote you and your team to think outside the box and evaluate each idea according to how original it is and how possible it would be to implement it.
How to use it
This template for brainstorming business ideas is a matrix that has “innovation” on the X-axis and “difficulty” on the Y-axis.
- Set the topic and generate as many ideas as possible
- Add all ideas to a board and order them according to the following parameters:
- How (blue). Ideas for the future, dreams, or challenges that are innovative but difficult to implement.
- Now (yellow). Ideas that are easy to implement, have low risk, high acceptability, but are usually not that original or interesting.
- Wow (green). Innovative, breakthrough ideas that are possible to implement. Of course, you should strive to generate more of them.
- Ask your team members to choose the best idea for each cluster by adding a sticker in front of the idea they like most.
- Count stickers under each idea and order them. The biggest amount of stickers of a certain color categorizes the idea under that color.
As a result, you will receive ideas that you can start implementing right away, some solutions that you should continue working on, and some innovative concepts to have a direction for the future.
In case you are bored with typical brainstorming sessions, try a reverse brainstorming worksheet template. This method tricks our brain and makes it think in a new way.
Reverse brainstorming is an idea generation technique that works based on humans’ tendency to focus on problems more than on solutions we want to achieve.
How to use it
- Determine the area in which you want to create new ideas.
- Reverse the problem. For example, if you want to improve customer satisfaction, then the reverse problem would be “how to disappoint our customers”.
- Think of what you can do to make things go wrong in this area (make customers wait long, ignore their requests, and so forth).
- Reverse the ideas you got and think of solutions to those issues.
- Evaluate the solutions.
Reverse brainstorming allows us to see new possibilities that we might never see right away.
Creative projects require creative methods. Mood boards allow you to articulate abstract ideas, express the mood of a project and your feelings with the help of visuals (images, typography, color pallets, and such).
This technique is broadly used for presenting and assessing your ideas with the team and gathering inspiration for your project.
How to use it
Mood board template is a vast canvas where your team can put their ideas in a visual format and add small notes/descriptions for better understanding.
- Define the main subject. What do you need the mood board for?
- Choose the areas of a subject you want to explore.
- Browse the internet or any other resources for inspiration ideas and upload them to the template.
- Divide visuals according to different purposes - colors, structures, texts, and so.
- Add short descriptions. Typing some text next to particular visuals will allow you to explain the direction of your thoughts.
- Analyze the board. Look at the general picture, ask your colleagues for feedback.
Sometimes we have a problem that we don’t fully understand, a vague issue that comes to us on a moment-to-moment basis. 5 whys diagram helps us to break down such problems and get some facts that would take us to the root cause.
How to use it
The 5-why diagram is a chain of questions that promotes you to dig deeper and deeper to the root of a subject until you find a solution.
- Identify the problem you want to solve.
- Think of the broadest question, answering which will explain to you the general (maybe obvious) reason for the problem.
- Take this answer and based on it think of the next question that would be more specific.
- Follow the chain all the way down, until you find an answer that satisfies you.
Though this method is called 5 whys, it does not necessarily have to consist of five questions: in some cases, three are enough and sometimes you will need more than eight “whys” to find a suitable solution.
Disney creative diagram
Disney creative diagram came from Walt Disney Studios as a method of generating and evaluating ideas for film scripts or other projects. You can use it to solve a particular problem quickly in a really creative way.
With the help of the Disney diagram, a team adopts three different thinking styles: dreamer’s, realizer’s and critic’s views. That is, you discuss the issue from three different perspectives
How to use it
An important rule of this method is that the whole team should approach the problem from the same point of view at the same time.
- Start your brainstorming with the dreamers’ section that allows participants to share even the craziest ideas in a free form, without thinking about their feasibility. Dreamers often express their thoughts with “what if…” and they are looking for an ideal solution without constraints (What would we do if we had unlimited resources? What would a perfect solution be?).
- Then move to the realists’ point of view. Realists are pragmatic and practical people, whose job is to turn dreams into reality. They are looking for feasible, profitable or attractive to customer ideas. Realists look through dreamers’ ideas, narrow them down and discuss those in a constructive way to work them up into a plan.
- When it comes to critics’ turn, they take the plan that was developed by realists and analyze it in a critical, yet constructive way. They don’t mean to destroy the whole plan, but identify its risks and dangers. After defining the pitfalls, critics' duty is to make some suggestions as well.
With Disney creative diagram you can not only have a list of ideas, but also an action plan on how to implement them.
Card sorting is a simple technique that uncovers the way target users think about certain information. It is often used by UX teams who want to organize the information architecture of the product correctly, create user-friendly navigation, and so on.
How to use it
- Choose a set of topics with the same hierarchical level (about 50 items that represent the main content of the app/website).
- Put them all onto a template.
- Recruit target users.
- Ask participants to organize cards into groups that make sense to them.
- Discuss the result with each participant. Ask the user to explain the logic behind each group. You can also ask about difficulties that users faced during the task.
Carefully analyzing the results from the card sorting template will give you an opportunity to create a product that meets users’ expectations.
Kano scoring model is a framework designed to prioritize features based on the degree to which they are likely to satisfy customers. Weigh a high-satisfaction feature against its cost to implement to determine whether to implement it.
This strict focus on how customers will react to certain features is what differentiates the Kano model from other prioritization frameworks.
How to use it
The Kano model works by understanding each feature you want to develop based on two axes. On the X-axes we have whether the feature is absent or present within your product or service. And on the Y-axes, we have how you expect the customer to respond to the feature, whether they are dissatisfied or delighted by the feature.
- Create a list of features you want to consider.
- Survey your customers.
- Brake these features into categories which are represented by the lines:
- Must-be. Features that customers expect to find in your product/service. They don’t cause high satisfaction, but in case you omit at least one must-have feature, customers feel deep dissatisfaction.
- Functionality. The more customers get of these features, the more satisfied they become. These features are considered to improve the performance of your product in some way.
- Attractive. These are features that your customer doesn’t expect to find, but they make your users delighted if they are present. If such features are absent, your customer is neutral.
- Indifferent. These are features that your customer doesn’t care about, whether they are present or absent.
- Reverse. These are features that actually annoy your customers if they are present and make users happy if absent.
- Analyze the results.
- Priotorize the features you will implement.
Value proposition canvas
Value proposition canvas helps to deliver products that meet customers’ expectations and satisfy their needs. With this method, you can visualize the design and test how you create value for customers.
How to use it
The value proposition canvas is composed of two parts: the customer profile and the value map.
- Fill in the customer profile that helps you understand people you intend to create value for, It describes:
- jobs your customers are trying to get done. Jobs can be functional, social, or emotional
- pains that annoy customers and which they try to avoid. They can be dissatisfaction solutions, challenges, risks, frustrations, or obstacles related to perform a job.
- gains which present how customers measure the success of a job well done. These are positive outcomes that customers expect to achieve, like concrete results, benefits
- Fill in the value map that shows how your product/service relieves pains and creates gains. You can use it to design, test, and iterate your value proposition. It describes:
- the list of products/services that your value proposition builds on
- pain relivers which present how your product/services/features eliminate, reduce or minimize pains customers care about, making their lives easier
- gain creators that present how your product/service/feature produce, increase or maximize outcomes and benefits your customers expect, want or will be surprised to receive by using your product
- Create clear connections between what matters to customers and how your product/service/feature decreases pains and creates gains..
All the above templates serve different purposes and are suitable for specific individual cases. That’s why offering your users a variety of different templates would make the brainstorming feature in your remote collaboration software more effective, creative and helpful.
Use our brainstorming templates as an inspiration to optimize your users’ daily routines and make their lives a bit easier and follow Eleken on Figma.
Working on building a SaaS product for remote team collaboration? We can be your product design team! Learn more about our pricing model.