In the ideate phase of my case study, I'm facing a challenge during the brainstorming part because I'm working alone. I would like to know if there is a method suitable for solo ideation. If so, which one would you recommend?

Additionally, I've noticed that in some representations of UX-oriented design thinking, brainstorming is a separate step within the ideation phase. Could someone please explain the difference between brainstorming and Crazy 8, as I believed Crazy 8 was a form of brainstorming.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Image of UX design process

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is acceptable and common to conduct individual brainstorming sessions in UX design. Individual brainstorming allows for exploring ideas freely, generating a range of possibilities, and diving deep into specific aspects. It provides the opportunity to think at one's own pace and consider different solutions before presenting them to others.

One common methodology for this is the use of mood boards. However, with the emergence of freely available AI tools, you can utilize AI to assist you in brainstorming ideas, both conceptual and visual.

Regarding Crazy 8, while similar to brainstorming, there are a few distinctions:

  • Time Constraints: Crazy 8 is time-limited (typically eight minutes), encouraging quick thinking and rapid ideation. Brainstorming sessions are usually open-ended without strict time limits.

  • Visual vs. Conceptual: Crazy 8 focuses on visual ideation through sketching, while brainstorming involves verbal discussions and collaborative idea generation.

  • Quantity vs. Depth: Crazy 8 aims for a high quantity of ideas in a short time frame, exploring diverse possibilities. Brainstorming allows for deeper discussions, exploring ideas from different angles, and evaluating feasibility.

  • Methodology: Crazy 8 has predefined rules, while brainstorming can be heavily moderated (starting by the original Osborn method) or unmoderated.

  • Participants: Crazy 8 ideally involves multiple participants (ideally four to 8), while brainstorming can be conducted with an ideal minimum of three participants or even individually.

  • Presentiality: Crazy 8 participants should be in the session at the same time, preferably in the same place (although you can use remote methodologies). In controlled brainstorming, it is recommended to avoid face-to-face contact to prevent distractions and blocking.

  • Thank you, it's much clearer now. In your opinion, should I use all the steps of the design thinking process picture that I shared, or can I eliminate some of them since I'm working alone? I would also like to know what the benchmark step in the workshop phase corresponds to, as I already have a competitor benchmark in the discovery phase (features, data...). Thank you again. Unfortunately, I cannot evaluate your response as I don't have the required 15 reputation points.
    – Ismael669
    May 27, 2023 at 14:51
  • This is difficult to answer for me since I'm in the process of writing a completely new framework that gets rid of big part of Design Thinking> However, even within the boundaries of DT, you can (and should) avoid parts of DT that are not suitable for individuals. Keep in mind DT has 5 main stages, but the degree of granularity and processes will depend on the resources and projects themselves. As for voting, you can vote up and accept the answer if you want, it's the only way you can get reputation.
    – Devin
    May 28, 2023 at 2:08
  • It's interesting what you're saying. All the qualities/softkills that are part of my background and that have led to my recruitment in my school, etc don't seem to be of much use in a design thinking process. That's just my impression.
    – Ismael669
    May 28, 2023 at 12:41
  • IMHO, it's not just your impression. However, I can only answer within the boundaries of the framework you chose. Objectively speaking, DT is bloated with never-ending processes that may or may not provide additional information. In almost 20 years doing this, I've never seen all the processes in your infographic conducted together. You need to pick some and be realistic. Besides, some of them are optional, like if you choose to do A, you won't need to do B, C, and D. Honestly, this is what we try to sell to clients more than what we really do. And as I said, nobody ever fell for ALL of it.
    – Devin
    May 29, 2023 at 15:08

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