Description :

You can use this method when your team comes up with a large amount of ideas that need to be narrowed down and selected.  Thanks to dot voting, you’ll give the team an opportunity to decide and select the most popular and the best (from their perspective) idea. The main rule is that each member has the same voting power, hence why we call it Democratic Dots.

This is a method we often use in our own Design Thinking process after brainstorming. Usually, we have about 30 ideas and we need to choose up to three to prototype.

Methodology :
  1. Ask the team to place all the ideas on a board or large flip chart paper, each person should have a pen to contribute.
  2. Let them know that each group member has 3 dots (votes) which they can distribute in any way they choose. 3 votes for one idea, 2 for one idea and 1 for another, each vote for a different idea…
  3. After all dots have been placed, ideas will be ranked according to the number of dots.
  4. Ideas with the highest scores are the winners.

The following questions might be useful:

  • What are the most popular ideas – How could you develop them?
  • What criteria did you use when voting? What was important for you?
  • Did you vote for your own ideas? Why or why not?
  • What would you do with the ideas with fewer points?
  • What would be your advice for effective brainstorming?

To learn more, we recommend this short video by NNgroup:

and this short video on brainstorming session carried out by IDEO experts:

Time :
10’ – 30′
Materials :
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Sticky points
Outcomes :

List of the most popular ideas from the brainstorming session