The Design Games

4Cs

image of a 4-way grid4Cs is a game that helps you to think through different aspects of a problem. By looking at a problem from 4 different angles you can break it down and see it in a new way.

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Card sorting

closeup of a set of index cardsIn a card sort participants create groups from content or objects and label the groups they generate. We can use that to understand how they think about categories and ideas for labelling.

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Design slam

photo of a team working together around a tableIn a design slam a team works together to create a solution to a design problem, usually under some time pressure. Design slams are good for identifying potential design solutions, but also for a team to learn about how to work together.

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Design the box

Participants design the box for a new product (even one that will never be sold in a box). In doing so, they identify key features and selling points for the product.

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Design the home page

Participants design the home page for a website, intranet or application. By doing so, they identify key features and content ideas.

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Divide the dollar

image of a pile of coinsParticipants are provided with a list of features and $100 to ‘spend’. They distribute the money across the features according to how important those features are and explain why they have divided their money in this way.

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Freelisting

small image showing list of dog breedsFor a particular topic, participants have to name as many of ‘x’ as they can. This game is very good for understanding what users know, how they use terminology and to generate lists.

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Idea cards

image of an index card with the label of compellingIdea cards help teams to brainstorm solutions to design problems. They are good for helping teams think about a problem in a different way. Teams are provided with a deck of cards that contain trigger words. They draw between 3 & 5 cards and must use the words on those cards as the focus of their idea.

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Reverse it

image of a left-facing arrowReverse it is a simple game that can help a design team get unstuck when trying to solve a problem, or to generate new ideas. Instead of solving the actual problem, the team solves the reverse problem.

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Role plays

photo of a group of actorsRole playing is a great way for teams to visualise a solution they have designed. In a role play, team members act out an end-to-end scenario in order to see how it will work in real life.

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Scavenger hunt

close-up image of tabbed and flyout navigation with many itemsA scavenger hunt involves people looking for a set of objects or information within a defined amount of time. It is a great, quick game to highlight usability issues problems to subject matter experts, management and the design team.

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