Journal article Open Access

The Emoji Method: An Approach for Identifying and Formulating Problem Ideas

Thorsten Herrmann; Alexander Laukemann; Hansgeorg Binz; Daniel Roth

For the analysis of already identified and existing problems, the pertinent literature provides a comprehensive collection of approaches as well as methods in order to analyze the problems in detail. But coming up with problems, which are assets worth pursuing further, is often challenging. However, the importance of well-formulated problem ideas and their influence of subsequent creative processes are incontestable and proven. In order to meet the covered challenges, the Institute for Engineering Design and Industrial Design (IKTD) developed the Emoji Method. This paper presents the Emoji Method, which support designers to generate problem ideas in a structured way. Considering research findings from knowledge management and innovation management, research into emojis and emoticons reveal insights by means of identifying and formulating problem ideas within the early design phase. The simple application and the huge supporting potential of the Emoji Method within the early design phase are only few of the many successful results of the conducted evaluation. The Emoji Method encourages designers to identify problem ideas and describe them in a structured way in order to start focused with generating solution ideas for the revealed problem ideas.

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