Creative Thinking Techniques

In my lecture today, I was opened up to new ways of how to visually come up with ideas and designs by mind mapping and brainstorming. My first task was to get into a group of three people and mind map certain words. We were given two words which were Dog and Key. 

Below are a few answers we had come up with on the mind map:

  • Dog– Own. Key– A possession.
  • Dog– You love. Key– The key to your heart.
  • Dog– Holds secrets, won’t speak. Key– Holds information.
  • Dog– Can open doors Key– Can open doors.
  • Dog– Dress it up. Key– Customise it.
  • Dog– Safety can protect you. Key– Can use as a weapon.


Once we were exposed to this concept and had started to figure out the technique of doing different creativity structures. We were told to research different kinds of mind maps. All groups were given different methods to research on. Below is the list that we were given and the meanings of what all the other groups had researched on them:

  • The Checklist– With the checklist, this allowed you to write the ideas in an ordered form, for example, bullet pointing them.
  • The 6 thinking hats-This technique was a way to categorize ideas by using emotions. For example, the black hat could be from the negativity of the idea, yellow, could be for the positive side of the idea and red could be for the uncertainty of it. You do it by colour coding the ideas.
  • Lateral thinking- This is when you think outside the box. For example, a question that was given was that “there is a man on the island with no food or water, but how is he still alive?” ‘Clue’ there is many other islands. Answer= the traffic islands. This basically stops you from jumping to the conclusion straight away; it allows you to think outside of the box of what the outcomes could be.
  • The Reframing matrix- With this technique, you start off by using a grid and have your idea placed in the middle. Then around the idea in the middle, there will be other boxes containing different meanings like the audience, manufacturing, style etc. This is good to use when you have a product and need to find the important information about the product.
  • Picture Association-This technique helps at the core of most of the memory systems. It’s a way of looking at an image and seeing how it could be analyzed, or how it could be associated with something. Always trying to find the hidden meaning.
  • Scamper-
    • Is a good way of breaking ideas down, for example, working with a pencil. What could you do with a pencil? If you split it in two, it becomes an eraser and pencil, or by adding other materials you create one end part pen and the other end part pencil. This is a list to follow when trying to decipher any ideas that could potentially come about:
  • S-Substitute
  • C-Combine
  • A– Adapt
  • M-Modify, Maximize or minify
  • P– Put to other uses
  • E– Eliminate
  • R– Reverse or re-arrange.


  • Attribute Listing– This is a good creative activity that is good to decompose situations into attributes. It’s very useful with physical objects and is suitable for people who prefer an analytical approach.
  • Metaphorical– This is a step by step of how to follow the technique guide.
    1. Identify what you are trying to communicate.
    2. Determine the essence of the message.
    3. Think of other instances in life where that same characteristic, idea, emotion and state. That could potentially apply.
    4. There may be many metaphors for the situation you are describing – choose the one that will best relate to your audience.

Lotus Blossom

The method we as a group was given to research was the Lotus Blossom- when you start with an idea such as a laptop you would then branch off to think about the different makes like HP, Apple or Sony for example. Then from there you would branch out and identify the qualities of each design. Initially, you should potentially come out with 64 ideas at the end of it. Also to make it a little bit more simplistic you can colour code them, which makes the categories clearer to see. Basically, it’s a more advanced way of developing a mind map. This format can be used to start your creative thinking for the Lotus Blossom method.


My Thoughts

Learning these methods helps give me a better perspective of how to work in a team or individually. It gives me the knowledge to help lay out my ideas in a more simplistic way. I hope to use these for future planning, as I know it could be really helpful.




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