Chapter 6. Phase 2: Diverge
Now that we have an initial understanding of the users and a problem of theirs worth solving, it’s time to look at potential solutions, generating as many ideas as possible. Don’t think of this as group brainstorming. Rather, it’s about each person working individually to sketch their ideas without the pressures of groupthink, then sharing them with the rest of the group, using the wisdom of the crowd to vote for the best ideas. The focus of the Diverge phase is to explore the range of possibilities. The exercises described in this chapter are designed to get the ideas out of your head and onto paper or the whiteboard. There are also many other types of divergent exercises. We present those that have worked best for us in a design sprint, but there are many others that can fit just fine.
In our experience, the Diverge phase is the most exhilarating and the most exhausting. At the end of it, you’ll feel a lot of confusion over having so many options and not knowing which to choose. That’s normal—trust the process: the Converge phase that follows will guide you to the right options to explore and test further.
At Constant Contact, the Diverge phase often brings participants from other areas of the company into the project for their input. This allows a couple of things to happen: first, the additional brainpower and different viewpoints can act as a way to ...