How to use dot voting efficiently in your next workshop

Sandy Lam
Dallas Design Sprints
7 min readJun 14, 2019

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Facilitation gets easier when you get your hands dirty

When I first started facilitating Design Sprints and Design Thinking workshops, one of the more challenging things was to decide which voting method to use. As I gained more facilitating experience with each engagement, I’ve developed a “gut feeling” about what works the best for particular situations.

However, gut feelings are abstract. As a Facilitator who aims to solve problems with structure, I was hungry for a more concrete explanation.

I turned to Google for some potential answers. Surprisingly, I didn’t find anything on this topic.

Therefore, I decided to go to the source and ask the Design Sprint inventor Jake Knapp. Coincidently, a Design Sprint Q&A webinar, organized by AJ&Smart, was taking place during that week. “What a chance!”, I said to myself.

Ryan de Metz (left) and Jake Knapp (right) during the AJ&Smart Design Sprint Masterclass Q&A session

There are four main voting methods typically used in a design sprint workshop facilitation. Most of them serve the same purpose: To inform the group (or the “Decider”, or both) on everyone’s collective opinion on the topic or concept being considered.

Method 1: Note-and-vote

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Sandy Lam
Dallas Design Sprints

Product Manager, facilitator, and constant learner. My purpose 🎯 To surface our uniqueness so that we can unlock the power of together.