How-Now-Wow Matrix

10-40 people

After the creative idea generation phase, this game assists players in choosing which ideas to further develop. Typically, individuals tend to think outside the box during the brainstorming or divergent phase when generating new ideas. However, during the convergence phase, people tend to select ideas that are more familiar to them, resulting in a "creative paradox" or "creadox." To overcome this, the How-Now-Wow matrix is an idea selection tool that requires individuals to evaluate each idea based on two parameters, breaking the creadox.

Workshop steps


Step 1: Create a Matrix Draw a simple 2x2 matrix as shown. Label the X-axis as "Originality of Idea" and the Y-axis as "Ease of Implementation." Step 2: Label Quadrants Assign names to each quadrant: - Now/Blue Ideas: Common ideas that are easy to implement. These usually address existing gaps and provide small improvements. - How/Yellow Ideas: Innovative ideas that are currently impossible to implement due to limitations in technology or budget. - Wow/Green Ideas: Unique ideas that are easy to implement and have the potential to create significant change within the current situation.


Process: 1. Write down all ideas generated during the brainstorming session on large sheets of paper and display them around the room. 2. Provide each participant with 3 sticky dots in blue, yellow, and green colors, totaling 9 dots per person. Adjust the number of dots based on time constraints and the number of ideas. 3. Instruct participants to vote for their top 3 ideas in each category by placing a colored dot next to their chosen ideas. 4. Tally the colored dots for each idea to determine its category. The color with the most dots represents the category for that idea. 5. In case of a tie: - If blue dots equal green dots, the idea is blue. - If yellow dots equal green dots, the idea is green. 6. Focus on the Now/Green ideas for further development. Also, implement the easy-to-achieve blue ideas and monitor the yellow ideas for future consideration. 7. Facilitator tip: Ensure the yellow dots are visible from a distance (use orange or gold if needed). Note that in the original matrix, WOW ideas are red.


Revise the text to maintain the structure, while making it straightforward and easy to follow.

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Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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