Phase: Ideation
Complexity: simple
Time required: 30 minutes or more for at least one person
Material needed: Idea Matrix canvas for each person, post-its, pens

References: Danish Design Center

What is it for?

The idea matrix is based on the technique of brainstorming – where all kinds of ideas coming to one’s mind are expressed, collected and put in order.

The matrix supports in structuring those ideas to generate more specific ones. When you put together the team that is going to work on the idea development, it is helpful to include people from different disciplines and professional backgrounds to bring in as many perspectives as possible on the new solutions.

Instructions / Tips

  • Identify the development potential you would like to translate into ideas. It may be helpful to articulate ’How might we …’questions to frame your idea development. Your development questions may be articulated ahead of time, or they may be defined by the team just before the brainstorm session. Place a development question at the centre of each Brainstorm Matrix, and hand one out to each participant at the beginning of the exercise.
  • Spend three to four minutes brainstorming on an idea based on the development question in the centre of the matrix. Write the idea down on a Post-it note and place it in one of the empty boxes on the matrix sheet. An idea is characterized by being a concrete solution to a challenge.
  • After brainstorming on the first idea, everyone passes their matrix sheet to the person immediately to their right, who now develops the idea further. This process is repeated, until each matrix is filled out.