Metaphor brainstorming is a method for generating metaphors and extracting aspects of those metaphors that can be applied to the design of hardware, software, processes, and services.
Metaphor brainstorming involves:
- Brainstorming metaphors that relate to a particular topic or product. For example, if you were interested in designing a new E-commerce site, you would use traditional Brainstorming to elicit metaphors like checkout counter, aisles, coupons, sales tables, shopping carts, and receipts.
- Selecting a set of the metaphors from your original brainstorming session and then conducting a deconstruction session where your focus is to elicit attributes and objects associated with the selected metaphors. For example, the metaphor "aisle" can be deconstructed into attributes like "length", "width", "height", "visual appeal", "ease of updating", and "number of intersections" and objects like "signs", "floor graphics", "educational panels", and "coupon holders".
- Mapping the metaphors and their attributes and objects (the "source" domain) to possible system functions (the "target" domain). For example, the concept of the visual appeal of a physical aisle may suggest ways to make your virtual aisles more appealing to your online customers.