Crazy Eights Design Exercise

The 1 Line Description

Process for rapidly generating lots of design ideas, and then selecting the best.

When to use it

Whenever designing something new.

Key Ideas

Instructions for Crazy Eights:

  • Gather together your UX supplies, including A4 paper, markers and sticky dots
  • Give each person an A4 sheet of paper and ask them to draw eight boxes on it. Or, for even more ease, simply use my free downloadable Crazy 8’s template!
  • 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 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

How I Use the Design Sprint Process for Different Types of Projects