How to: Run a Crazy Eights exercise to generate design ideas

Crazy 8's


When you want people to ideate quickly on an theme, Crazy Eights is a fantastic technique.

Instructions for Crazy Eights:

  • Give each person an A4 sheet of paper with 8 boxes on it (or you can fold a sheet of paper into 8 sections)
  • Set a timer for 8 minutes
  • Ask the group to sketch 8 quick ideas each in 8 minutes
  • When the timer pings, everyone stops sketching
  • At this point (time-dependent) you can either:
    • Ask people to present their top three ideas to the group
    • Ask people pick their three favourite ideas. Give them 6 more minutes to sketch out these three ideas further. Then ask them to present them to the group.
  • Give everyone 2 sticky dots (from your bag of UX supplies!) and ask people to vote on their favourite ideas out of the whole group

The idea is to generate as many ideas as possible within a short timeframe, focusing on quantity of ideas not quality, and then once you’ve got a bunch of divergent thinking on one topic, to begin converging on some winning ideas by voting on the favourites.

These chosen ideas can then be worked up into prototypes, more refined designs, or you could even do another round of rapid sketching on them and then another round of voting to hone in even further on the top top ideas.

Related resources:

What stationery you need to prepare for a design workshop

3 quick tips on how to get the most from your UX sketching

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Design lead, watermelon addict, Leuchtterm notebook obsessive. I just enjoy designing great experiences for people that just work, writing about my craft and connecting with designers everywhere. Find me on Instagram, Twitter and Google+.
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