I have a toolkit, a UX toolkit.
Here’s how it works if you run it with your team:
- Stock up on A3 paper, pens, coloured dot stickers or coloured pens.
- Assign someone to be the timekeeper so you are not distracted by the clock.
- Fold the paper into 8 different sections.
The facilitator sets a timer for a short amount of time, this is up to your discretion. You can set the timer for six minutes (45 seconds on each sketch) or even four minutes (30 seconds on each sketch). I tend to use eight minutes for this exercise; a minute per sketch.
It’s important to remind participants that these sketches do not need to be perfect. The sketches should be rough. The purpose of the exercise is to generate a variety of ideas. To put people at ease, show some examples to set the expectations for the quality of sketches.
Set the timer and ask the participants to start sketching. The facilitator should prompt them to start a new sketch every minute. Emphasize that they shouldn’t limit themselves. Make sure they get all their ideas out and approach this with an open mind. At this stage it is about the quantity of ideas, not the quality. It is normal for participants to feel rushed. It’s part of the process.
Time for feedback
When the eight minutes are up, you should have a collection of ideas. Some unexpected, some weird, some that just might work. Each participant then presents their top three ideas to the rest of the team for feedback.
Dot voting is a handy tool where each team member votes for ideas, usually 3 votes each. Together, evaluate the set of ideas. Make sure they don’t judge during this period. Apply a “yes, and…” rather than a “no…” or “yes, but…” mentality.
Depending on time, you could run another round of eight sketches building upon one another’s ideas. Then come back together and select the ideas that answer the design challenge in the most interesting way. The chosen ideas can then be worked on and perhaps made into a prototype to test.
This is a great technique to get team members to work collaboratively in a cost-efficient way. I often use this technique if I have a limited amount of time and want to get all of my ideas out without filter.
Great ideas can come from anywhere, even in under 8 minutes.