Day# 153: SCAMPER ideation method

Day# 153: SCAMPER ideation method

Hi Uxers! For today I will be discussing the Scamper method, often when I start a new project the whole project seems rather daunting and I never know where to start or what to tackle first. SCAMPER will help you work on a project section by section, it will inspire thought provoking questions with a linear process that integrates lateral thinking into the mix. Sometimes when you start on a project the team, or the business in general will think they know exactly what is needed for the project but having this set of questions that you can present in ideation sessions will help with defining the root cause of problems or other issues that the team may not have picked up on.


SCAMPER stands for

  • Substitute
  • Combine
  • Adapt
  • Modify (Also Magnify and Minify)
  • Put to another use
  • Eliminate
  • Reverse



For substitute you want to address what features or functions can be replaced to have an improved process. Can the rules and parameters of the project be replaced or can ideas be used for another project you are working on etc. The goal is to look at many ways of how X can be replaced, whether X stands for resources, time, or actual people involved in the project is for you to decide



In the combine aspect, here you are considering how aspects of the project can perhaps be combined, whether that means combining ideas, features or company resources. This does not mean you should move forward with making the unique jack of all trades project if it is not the goal of the company and the project. It is just at this step, that accessing certain items that can be combined should be noted. Here it is also a good point to combine items to possibly try and lower the cost of product.



It may seem that you are already adapting as you are going already, however it is at this point that you look at inspiration from other products. Whether it be in the actual companies history or with external products all together, it is at this point that accessing other products and looking at X that can benefit the project that you are working on can benefit you and your team with the over all project


Modify, also known as magnify & minify

This is where you are looking at the modifications that can be made to the project in relation to reducing sizing perhaps of buttons or layouts etc, reducing quantity or adding extra features even perhaps. It is about understanding how can extra value be added to the project on a whole. Some other examples to elaborate a bit more could be how can you make a process lighter, shorter or more streamlined.


Put to another use

The goal here is to understand what are other ways that the product can be used for, or who else can use the product that you have thought of already. The idea is to ask yourself a number of questions on the same topic and try see if you can spark some ideas.



In the process of elimination you are questioning the various features and functionality of the project that should be eliminated, as with every step so far it is not only related to the product directly but also to work flow and concepts of making the product smaller, more simplified or even splitting objectives based on ease of use or cost implications



Under the title of Rearrange, you have the goal of looking at the product or problem and trying to understand how certain items can be rearranged or reordered to suit the project better. When I say better remember that this is not related to your own assumptions of what is better but rather relating to business goals, cost implications, user journeys etc


All in all SCAMPER is a method to use in ideation sessions when you want to get the team thinking about a number of different topics or the same topic in a different way. I have even used it on occasion on my own with projects and it really helps with understanding a project and changing a project for the better on a deeper level. I would suggest having a structured set of questions for each category and I will be going through that in a future post.


For resources refer to the below

Happy researching until next time!


bye for now

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