# Crazy Eights

# Phase: 🎨 Problem shaping
Focus: Converge


Time commitment: 8 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Materials needed: Meeting space (physical or virtual), sheets of paper in eight sections (physical or virtual), participants from a variety of technical and cultural perspectives (the more of these, the more useful)
Who should participate: User experience designers, visual designers, product/project owners, community specialists, developers, and/or users
Best for: Coming up with a number of diverse, early-stage ideas very quickly

# About this tool

Crazy eights is a deceptively simple exercise that yields useful results quickly, particularly when other forms of brainstorming become too unfocused. It works best in the early stages of convergent problem shaping (or the late stages of divergent problem shaping), because it encourages participants to consolidate their ideas into an interface or product very rapidly — and because of time limits, doesn't allow participants to write off any ideas as "crazy".

  1. Give each participant a sheet of paper (physical or virtual) divided into eight segments.
  2. Set a timer for eight minutes and instruct participants to sketch out eight examples of potential solutions. (Be sure to remind them it's OK if they "can't draw"!)
  3. As the eight minutes ticks on, remind them of the passing of each one-minute interval.
  4. Review everyone's work as a group. Depending on the size of the group, you may wish to have participants choose their top two or three ideas to present. If there's time, you may also wish to have participants dot-vote or in some other way indicate their favorite solutions from the larger group.
  5. If you really want to dig deeper, take some extra time and do some co-creation on the group favorites.