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  • Daniel Ling

Innovate Your Way to Success: How SCAMPER Can Supercharge Your Idea Generation

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Ideation Phase is the 3rd Phase of the Design Thinking Process and it is the most celebrated step as the team embark on the discovery of creativity and exciting ideas to solve problems. One very useful tool will be SCAMPER- and here's how you apply it.

It's easy- try SCAMPER for your projects!

SCAMPER is a brainstorming technique that pushes your team to innovate products/services in a directed manner. The acronym SCAMPER, stands for:

1. Substitute

2. Combine

3. Adapt

4. Modify

5. Put to another use

6. Eliminate

7. Reverse

Each step extends to a series of questions that can be applied to an idea/concept/product, prompting a barrage of ideas as team members answer the questions. For illustrative purposes we will demonstrate how SCAMPER can be used on a face mask.

This face mask!

SUBSTITUTE (think technology)

• What technology can you substitute or swap to improve the face mask?

• What other product or process could you use?

• What will happen if you change your feelings or attitude toward the face mask?

💡What if there's a TEMPERATURE READER on the face mask to tell the temperature instantly?

Combine (think technology)

• What would happen if you combined a face mask with another, to create

something new?

• What could you combine to maximize the uses of the face mask?

• How could you combine talent and resources to create a new approach to this


💡What if you combine a SANITIZING SPRAY with the face mask, and it will spray whenever you cough or sneeze?


• How could you adapt or tweak a face mask to serve another purpose or use?

• Who or what could you emulate to adapt a face mask?

• What other context could you put your face mask into?

• What other products or ideas could you use for inspiration?

💡What if you adapt the face mask to PETS, they need protection too..


• How could you change the shape, look, or feel of the face mask?

• What feature of the face mask could you emphasize or highlight to create new

meaning or value?

💡What if you modify the face mask filter with technology that detects a person's emotions and change colour accordingly? Like... RED for DON'T COME CLOSE!

Put to Another Use

• Can you use this product somewhere else, perhaps in another industry?

• Who, or even, what else could use a face mask?

• What could a face mask do in a different context?

💡What if you adapt the face mask to food-preparers in the food industry (in a hot environment)... they need face mask with AIR-CONDITIONING


• How could you streamline or simplify a breath spray?

• What features, parts, or rules could you eliminate?

• What would happen if you removed part of the breath spray?

💡What if you eliminate the EAR STRAP on face mask? Stick it on?


• What if you try to do the exact opposite of what a face mask does now?

• How could you reorganize this product?

💡What if instead of filtering the bad air, the face mask gives out GOOD AIR?

Do not forget to answer all questions! Answer them earnestly and naively as the

best ideas will come from the most unexpected moments. What may seem silly

initially can take-off as the next big thing. Generate more questions for each step

and share them with us in the comments below!

Last Words

I will be adding more articles on Design Thinking throughout the year. Articles of Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test will be added periodically to give my readers a broader insights to Design Thinking.

To follow my blog closely and get cool innovation ideas, like follow my FB page and Instagram:


About the Author

Daniel Ling has more than 10 years of Design Thinking experience and has moulded himself to be a “designer in a business suit”- strong in the Design Thinking process and yet relevant to the financial and business industry- across OCBC, DBS, NTUC Income and Lazada. He trained close to 500 professionals in the area of Design Thinking, Innovation and Strategy. He authored the Complete Design Thinking Guide for Successful Professionals and the book is sold worldwide via Amazon, iTunes, Ingram, Lulu and Kinokuniya.

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