Technique N°12 - Reverse everything
Sometimes the opposite brings the light up!
At eYeka we believe that everyone is creative as soon as one opens his mind and lets ideas flow freely. To help creators from everywhere tackle brand issues, we are providing you with Creative Techniques. Browse them, play with them and add them to your daily creative process to generate your best ideas!
When you face a problem, it is sometimes smarter to tackle it by focusing its opposing side.
The reversing technique improves your understanding of the challenge and helps you define its boundaries. It is also a good way to generate new ideas. The reversing technique relies on the assumptions of your problem (what you assume to be true) but also on the challenge itself.
Let’s see how it works on the assumptions:
- As always start by writing down your problem statement.
- List all your assumptions about your topic:
- What are you expecting to find?
- How does it usually behave?
- What are the most common features, process, and characteristics?
- Reverse each assumption.
This could lead to a shampoo that makes hair fall; a shampoo that smells bad and colors the hair in grey (or changes nothing).
- Ask yourself how to accomplish each reversal. How to make it real without the assumption? List all the solutions you find.
- Select one solution and transform it into a realistic idea.
- Go back to your initial problem and note the new ideas you have.
You can also apply the same principles to your problem statement:
- Write down your problem statement.
- Change now the main action (usually the verb) by reversing it:
- Increase becomes decrease
- Appeal, like, love become hate, etc.
- List all the ways you can make the reversed problem statement work.
- Evaluate your ideas by assigning each a rating from 1 to 10 (the most significant idea) and focus on the highest rated items: there are usually the most probable sources of your problem.
- Reverse to get inspired by this new perspective and update your problem statement if needed.
When reversed, the idea might grow into a product that leverages what the user is feeling to make their hair look beautiful.
The reversing technique allows you to tackle your issue in a different way. By trying to solve the reversed version you create new ideas to solve your initial challenge.
Did you find new ideas to solve the problem? If yes, congrats! If not move on to the next technique!