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At the beginning of the Design Thinking ideation phase, it is all about generating a lot of options. One of the best ways to get inspiration for new ideas is to take on a new perspective. Consider for instance how others from a different industry would approach your problem. In our Design Thinking workshops, we often use the following trigger questions to spark inspiration for new ideas:


  • What would Google do? How would Google address our problem? (Google is always trying to be more proactive, to anticipate what the user might want to do next in a given context).
  • What would Amazon do? (Amazon tries to serve the need for convenience better than any other company in the world. How can we make it as convenient as possible for our target audience to use our offering?)
  • What would Nespresso do? (Proportion the solution, “force” repeat purchases).
  • What would Starbucks do? (create quality time, bonus system)
  • What would Spotify do? (individualize the offer, personal playlist, offer a flat rate, create subscription model)
  • What would Weight-Watchers do? (create a community; introduce a points system)
  • What would Apple do? (try to lock in the customer, example iTunes, create the highest possible hurdles for switching, be the design leader)
  • What are the megatrends that affect our question?
  • Who are the current top 5 providers for our problem? How do their offerings differ? Where are opportunities to differentiate?
  • What would a mobile provider do? (e.g., sell a 24-month contract).
  • How could we offer a free solution?
  • What would Airbnb do? (Create a platform, use user-generated content).
  • Who in the world has already solved a problem similar to ours, but in a different context?