An intro to Crazy 8s

What is it?
Crazy 8s is a technique used to come up with a wide range of ideas in a short period of time.

What do I need?
All you need to do a crazy 8s session is a pen and a piece of paper!

How do I do it?
Take your piece of paper and fold it in half to divide it into 2 sections, fold it in half two more times and you will end up with 8 equally sized sections.

Once everyone is ready, set a timer for 8 minutes. Each sketch should take a maximum of 1 minute.

Seriously, 1 minute per sketch?
This might sound daunting however by sketching an idea every minute you’re allowing yourself to think outside of the box easier as you won’t have time to consider all the facets of the ideas you sketch.

But I can’t draw
You don’t need to be a designer to do a Crazy 8s session, even in companies like Google they deliberately make sure their sketches are as rough as possible. This means that anyone from a designer to a developer, a sales associate to a compliance officer is able to easily get their ideas from their head to a piece of paper without fear of judgement.

Remember the idea of Crazy 8s is not about the quality of your ideas but the quantity of them.

What next?
Now in the span of a little more than 8 minutes you’ve gone from no ideas to 8x the amount of people you ran the session with!

The next step is to stick these sketches on the walls and have each person explain their sketches to the group. If you’re doing this in a big group you might have a lot of sketches to go through so don’t spend too long explaining each sketch.

Okay, so what do we do with these ideas?
If you ran the session by yourself you now have 8 ideas to look over, maybe 1 or 2 stick out and you decide to refine them a bit or if you want you can run the session again and come up with 8 more ideas!

If you ran the session in a group it’s now time to do a dot voting exercise.

Dot voting
Give everyone 3 coloured dots and tell them to put them on the idea or part of the idea that they like, give them time to think this through.

Once everyone has voted you will be able to see the ideas/parts of ideas that people like the most. Give each person a few minutes to talk about why they voted in the way they did.

Now you have heard everyone’s reasoning in a group decide which ideas/parts of ideas you want to develop further and that’s it!

That’s it!
Crazy 8s is a really fun technique to use both by yourself and in a group, it gets you outside your comfort zone and gives you ideas for how to tackle a problem that you might not have considered if you were stuck to your screen (of course you can also do this digitally on Miro but you get the point!).

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