When the effect map is done and all the user studies are complete, the creativity can be let lose. The process of concept creation is to come up with a bunch of different concepts that all maps to the effect goal and fulfill the users’ requirements. None of these concepts becomes the chosen one, because one often like/dislike different parts of the concepts. A synergy effect often happens when combining great stuff from different concepts together.
To get to when the concepts are being created, different input is needed. Input such as bench marketing analysis, value words, and mood boards are essential to the creation process. In contrast to the earlier created personas, one can make, so called, extreme personas. The extreme persona is the opposite to the real persona. The extreme persona might have have extreme characteristics and needs, might dislikes the use situation, and is everything that the real persona is not. The extreme persona will highlight different design aspects, which makes you think in new ways. Ways that could influence new innovations for the real persona.
When the concept creation begins, I love to be in a place where I’m usually not! This is to avoid the ‘coffee cup ideas’. These are the design ideas that don’t take you further than your last project, design, experience. The concepts need not only to include the actual use situation, but also phases before and after phases. What do we want to give to the user when s(h)e is thinking of buying the product. What experience will the unboxing deliver? What other product would the user be interested in during the usage of the products etc? A great method for this is making a user journey that takes you through all of these phases.
The communication of the concepts are as much important as communicating your users. The people that will make the decisions needs to get the who, the why, the what, and the how of each concept in order to make the best design decision. Otherwise they will again, make self-referential decisions, such as “I like concept No 3 most, because I like motor cycles“.