Boost your digital skills

1. Generating Ideas - Rapid 8s

A quickfire activity to help you and your team get creative with your solution ideas

What is it good for?

  • Coming up with ideas for potential solutions
  • Visualising ideas
  • Working out what to test with your users
  • Getting your team involved

When to use it

At the start of the Define phase. Once you understand what challenges your users are facing, you feel you have a good understanding of your users’ behaviours and needs, you’ve tested your key assumptions and you have developed your 'how might we' statements.

How to use it

To start generating ideas, we use a tool called Rapid 8s. It’s a fun and effective way to get your and your team's ideas out in sketch form. You don't need to be good at drawing, just some scribbles and stickmen can really help to start off. What you need: A4 paper Sticky dots Sharpies

Notion image

Round one

  • With your team, take an A4 piece of paper each. Fold it in half 3 times.
  • Unfold the paper - you should have 8 small 'windows' - these can either be steps in a process, or you can use a window per idea, it's totally up to you.
  • Set a timer for five minutes and ask everyone to start drawing - with a Sharpie (it means you can't go into too much detail!) - ideas that might help solve the problem you've chosen to tackle.
  • At the end, ask everyone to explain their ideas to the rest of the group. It can sometimes take a couple of goes for people to relax into the exercise, so feel free to repeat if you need.

Time for a second round?

  • Get a fresh piece of paper, and ask everyone to pick the idea they most like from their previous sketches and go into a bit more detail this time.
  • Set a timer for eight minutes and sketch away!
  • Stick them up on a wall, or you can use a collaborative tool like Miro or Mural if you're in different locations. Then get everyone to present their sketches back to the team.

Voting time!

  • Give everyone three dots (either sticky ones or on Miro or Mural), and ask them to choose their favourite ideas or elements from the team's sketches for the ideas or elements of an idea that they like best.

The ideas that get the most dots are ones to explore further but make sure you undertake further prioritisation.


Once you've done this you can develop some basic prototypes to test with users.

Further reading on problem statements

  1. More idea generation techniques