Design Diary: Order from Chaos

(this is a placeholder post to keep momentum)

One of the things I like about index cards for brainstorming is the way they focus down on one subject at a time. Another thing I like is the way you can work your way through a stack of blank cards and discover thoughts you had weeks ago that are actually good.

And the third thing I like about physical index cards is the satisfaction of handling them, ordering them into stacks, and pinning them to a corkboard:




This highlights the vital step that’s often missed in all brainstorming (and I encounter this in my day job a lot), which is turning the messy group of ideas into a coherent whole is an essential part of brainstorming. People skip this step because it appears to be the boring bit; the brainstorming typically involves talking animatedly about your ideas, making contact with other humans, but the write up is solitary, lonely stuff. But necessary, because otherwise everything up to that point is masturbation.

So, one of the things a brainstorming method does is to give you an overview of the whole thing your making… and that can be tremendously satisfying if it comes together. So I would say that whatever brainstorming visualisation tool you pick, you need to pick something that satisfies you. Card, pen and corkboard satisfy me much more than digital, and while this mess must go digital at some point, seeing the cards laid out like this is enough to keep me motivated in the interim.

the brainstorming is for Black Mantle. The split between Interior and Exterior is intentional, but the fact I have two corkboards is a happy coincidence. I was going to say I need a bigger board, but working within the constraints of a fixed board is possibly helpful