Braindrawing – Best Practices

Braindrawing is a clever technique of obtaining ideas from a number of individuals by means of everyone sketching their ideas and later generating a chain of thought from the rest by passing up the sketches so that others can derive inspiration from them.

How it brings About Results

The mind is an organ that responds to visual stimuli. Rather than just giving it a set of random thoughts from where ideas are to be incepted, with braindrawing there are a number of images that you use as inspiration. It works especially on the right side of the brain, which is the nonverbal sector of the brain; this opens up your brain and sets off a stream of free thought and idea. With these, you are able to come up with a solution for the problem at hand with ease.

All you need is a couple of flipcharts. In a series, everyone is given a chance to walk up to the flipcharts and draw up an idea of what they have. The subsequent drawers are supposed to base in their predecessors ideas in order to get a more steady flow. To get better results, you could try using an array of colors to sketch. It will give the brain a more advanced visual impression, which will in turn boost the creativity.

Once the flipcharts are done, have everyone take a look at them and try to unlock some ideas from the maze if sketches. Since everyone will have a different view of the drawings, have everyone speak out what they think of the drawings, and how they can be traced back to the original problem at hand. By doing, this you come up with an endless stream of ideas and all that is left is to arrange these thoughts into well-laid out plans.

When to Use It 

When you are unable to make a decision, and you need input from others, braindrawing is very helpful. It is perfect for expressing certain ideas that one might have but cannot clearly express those using words. It is best used on people with high levels of creativity, but for some reason try and avoids verbal expression, or those who are not articulate.

For instance, a club meeting to decide on how to hold a fundraiser could really benefit from a braindrawing exercise. The participants in the planning process will each come up with a quick randomly inspired sketch, and the paper goes around as each one makes addition. One could start by drawing a marquee, the next person will sketch some jugglers, and as the cycle continues, they will realize that they have come up with a circus theme.

Braindrawing is also a good refresher from the more conventional methods of thinking. It gets really tiring to sit down at a formal setting and asking everyone to brainstorm. With the sketches, everyone is a bit free, and their creative juices can now start flowing. There are no restrictions to the ideas that one is free to come up with. It is essential that you convince everyone to sketch off the top of their head and not to overthink it.



Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.