Ideation (creative process)

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Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas, where an idea is understood as a basic element of thought that can be either visual, concrete, or abstract.[1] Ideation comprises all stages of a thought cycle, from innovation, to development, to actualization.[2] Ideation can be conducted by individuals, organizations, or crowds. As such, it is an essential part of the design process, both in education and practice.[3]


The word "ideation" has come under informal criticism as being a term of meaningless jargon,[4] as well as being inappropriately similar to the psychiatric term for suicidal ideation.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jonson, 2005, page 613
  2. ^ Graham and Bachmann, 2004, p. 54
  3. ^ Broadbent, in Fowles, 1979, page 15
  4. ^ Berkun, Scott (7 August 2008). "Why Jargon Feeds on Lazy Minds". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  5. ^ Thomson, Stephanie (14 June 2015). "Annoying Tech Jargon to Remove From Your Vocabulary-The Muse". The Muse. Retrieved 16 March 2016.

External links[edit]

  • Michalko, Michael (2006) "Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques Paperback" ISBN 978-1580087735
  • Jonson, B (2005) "Design Ideation: the conceptual sketch in the digital age". Design Studies Vol 26 No 6 pp 613–624. doi:10.1016/j.destud.2005.03.001
  • Graham, D and Bachmann, T., (2004) Ideation: The Birth and Death of Ideas. John Wiley and Sons Inc. ISBN 978-0471479444
  • Fowles, R A (1979) "Design Methods in UK Schools of Architecture". Design Studies, Vol 1 No 1 pp 15–16 doi:10.1016/0142-694X(79)90022-X