Written By
Sara McGuyer
On
August 20, 2014
Posted In

Namestorming

August 20, 2014

Our employee experience hub process continues! We've had a full plate of brainstorming, wireframing and planning, including our first major challenge: what do we call this thing?

Have you ever taken part in a brainstorming session where everyone just shouts out ideas as they come? Sometimes those sessions are great, but sometimes, they're just off. You know, the ones where the loudest voice wins, and then someone falls into the temptation to pit one idea against another. We wanted to brainstorm name ideas, but without that dynamic.

We often conduct timed sprints, where people write down as many ideas as possible until a timer runs out. Writing, rather than talking, helps give everyone a chance to process their thoughts and contribute some ideas. We also often use sticky notes as a way to collect and sort lots of ideas. For this particular challenge, I decided to combine these concepts with some other ideas to try a new collaboration exercise.

Abby helped me create "sticky sheets" where we placed ten blue stickies, five green stickies and five white stickies on one piece of paper. Each participant got their own sheet. We had ten minutes to write down ten name ideas, one on each blue sticky note. When the timer ran out, we passed our paper to the left. We had five minutes to write five new names ideas inspired by what the other person had written down. When that timer ran out, we passed the paper again, and got a fresh five minutes, but this time, to sketch and draw ideas inspired by the names on the white sticky notes.

Namestorming exercise

We ended up with scores of name ideas and concepts to explore. We sorted the names into themes, and we noticed a few prominent concepts had emerged. We used tiny dot stickers to vote for our favorites to narrow the field. We aren't ready to reveal our actual name choice just yet...

The really hard part came after - finding a name that isn't taken, and for which a reasonable domain and social handles can be obtained. Not a task for the faint of heart!