In Automattic we often run Design Challenges, which are quick sprints where designers and non designers brainstorm concepts independently in order to explore more different approaches before proceeding. The design challenge usually run as follow:
The designer looking for concepts and explorations posts a new design challenge, containing some research data, the outline of the feature or the problem, and the goal it satisfies. This post has to be as complete as possible without being too long.
Whoever wants to participate has usually a week or so to think ideas and prepare concepts. These can be very detailed or just raw ideas. They can be done in prototypes, high fidelity mockups or just sketches on paper.
On a specific date, everyone posts their concepts describing the reasoning behind them.
The designer now has from a few to many exploration to integrate their ideas and the research they have.
It’s important to notice that these challenges are then material for the designers working on a specific feature, they aren’t meant to be built “as-is” since often they lack the complete understanding of the issue. It’s a sort of in-depth brainstorming to support