Sunday, March 29, 2009

Whack Upside The Head

"Roger von Oech has won a loyal following around the country."

- BusinessWeek Magazine
The Creative Whack Pack is a creativity tool and trust me it will "whack" you out of habitual thought patterns and safety-nets you fall into when brainst
orming. The Creative Whack Pack is a "creativity workshop in a box." It consists of 64 cards, each featuring a different strategy. Some highlight places to find new information. Others provide techniques to generate new ideas. Some lend decision-making advice. And many give you the "kick" you need to get your ideas into action.

Roger von Oech, is a best-selling author of creativity books "A Whack on the Side of the Head" and "A Kick in the Seat of the Pants", and now has launched a version of his Creative Whack Pack brainstorming card deck for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Once again, trust me, this is very welcome to me. You see there have been a 100 different times I wish I my "deck" with me… but only to have it at home. Now, it comes with me everyday… on my iPhone. And the interface makes the most of the iPhone user interface, and delivers a fun, engaging user experience.

When you first fire up the Creative Whack Pack on the iPhone, you're greeted by a menu that gives you five different choices:

  • Give me a whack, which displays one of the 64 brainstorming cards in the deck at random
  • Whack of the Day, which displays a different brainstorming card every 24 hours
  • The Creative Workshop, which gives you an opportunity to use the Whack Pack to solve a particular problem, issue or topic, using a set of four cards. It displays each of them in turn, followed by a summary that asks you to think about any patterns that the quartet of creative stimuli may suggest.
  • A card index, which lets you drill down to specific cards by "suit" -- explorer, artist, Judge and warrior (the four types of creative personas that von Oech suggests we be able to take on in his books). If you remember seeing a card that you thought was particularly intriguing in a previous session, this is a great way to find it again.
  • Information, which includes the help files for the Creative Whack Pack, an explanation of the creative process, and how this is reflected in the four different suits of cards contained in this creativity tool.

A lot of thought has gone into how to organize the Whack Pack in a common sense, easy-to-use way. The arrangement of screens and tool navigation are simple and hierarchical, with "back" and "home" buttons clearly displayed at the bottom of each screen, which enable you to back up one level or go to the start screen for the program, respectively.

Best part… it's only $4.99 for the Creative Whack Pack for iPhone.

One of my students, Jett Landicho just purchased the Whack Pack iPhone App and told me the following, "It's so simple but so great. These are great ways to really take creative thinking to a deeper level. I could see myself using this for any time I felt creative, not even just for advertising".

Any tools we can find to help get the process started… the better!

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