In some of our ideation sessions, we use an excursion called Assumption Busting. It first asks you to list everything you know to be true about something, and then asks, “What if that’s not true?” This exercise opens up a world of possibilities by getting you to think about things in a different way, without the conventions we’ve grown used to.
I came across this video about a product from IKEA, called the UPPLEVA. It’s a TV and entertainment center in one piece of furniture. I had to laugh—it seemed as if the IKEA designers must have used the Assumption Busting exercise when they came up with this idea.
What’s true about a television set?
It has lots of wires and cables
It’s a major purchase
Comes from electronics store or department
Additional parts (DVD player, speakers, game systems) connect externally
Multiple remote controls needed
Complex settings and menus
Sits on an entertainment center or is mounted on the wall
What if that’s not so? The UPPLEVA dismantles many of the above assumptions:
Simple pictorial menu
Wires are hidden for a clean look
Bought at a home furnishing store
Furniture and technology are integrated
Speakers, Bluray, and sub-woofer are already included
That’s the best part about Assumption Busting. You don’t even know what deeply held assumptions you have until someone has broken them wide open. Give it a try with one of your challenges, and see what solutions you come up with!
Katie Franke is a Marketing Communications Specialist and Concept Writer at Ideas To Go, an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.