A to Z of
Creativity Techniques
Lateral Thinking
Listing Pros and Cons
Listing is a derivative of the Attribute Listing technique (Crawford) and in fact is a one-dimensional version of the Heuristic Ideation Technique (HIT) method (Tauber). Although used mainly for new product development in theory it can be used for any situation, which has elements that can be listed, and for which combination of elements are likely to suggest solutions.

HIT uses the components of existing products, however the Listing technique (Whiting, 1958) uses the products in a given are:

  1. Identify the sort of product you would like to produce (e.g. ‘bathroom equipment)
  2. Identify a area in which these exist (e.g. ‘bathroom’), catalogue, as many objects, products, etc. as you can that exist in that area (e.g. sink, bath, shower, toilet, etc.) Reduce your list to about 10-12 items, stop step 4 becoming unwieldy.
  3. Sketch a triangular template in which the rows and columns are both labelled with the items in the narrowed down list that you have just created, so that the units in the template correspond to the comparison of each item on the list with every other item on the list (e.g. ‘bath/shower’, ‘toilet/sink’, etc. for every possible combination).
  4. For each unit, use centred Free Association to come up with possible ideas:
    • What sort of new bathroom product does ‘bath/shower’ suggest to you?
  5. Choose the top ideas for additional assessment