Matrix sorting


The purpose of the method is to compare the concept proposals to criteria and figure out which to further develop. 

Accomodate participants who are not able to:

If the participants can not see the method could be performed orally. This would require the documenter and the facilitator to be good at writing down what is being said and fill in the template for the participants.

Furthermore, if the participants can not see the template it can be difficult to compare where on the matrix the dot should be put, why the scale on the matrix comes in handy

This would make it easier for the participants as they could then say. I think it should be placed (3,5) meaning that on a scale from 1-5 the participant thinks it should be 3 on the expensive production and 5 for fast implementation.

If the participants are not capable of thinking in a complex matter they could evaluate one concept proposal at a time on one template instead of evaluating all concept proposals in the same template.

Sign language or other symbol language could be used


If the participants can not hold on to a pen there could be a helper placing the dot for them.


If the participants can not move meaning they would not be able to draw the dot, a helper could draw the dot based on what the participants are saying.


A translator can be used for presentation, or a written explanation can be read by a fellow participant. If a translator is not present make sure all ideas have a written explanation.  


Depending on the ability being limited according to not being able to focus because of distractions or because of time crunch – either reduce time spent or increase the time spent for brainstorming.

If a participant feels excluded from the group pair up the participants to have them brainstorm in pairs instead of individually. 




Concept proposals or ideas and criteria for the axes.


Visual representation of how well each concept proposal lives up to the criteria in the matrix.




25 min. 5 minutes pr. concept proposal + 2 minutes for each group to elaborate on the output of the matrix. 

No. of participants

Minimum 2 ideally 10-15

Activity required

Core abilities: - Think in somewhat a complex manner. The participants should be capable of understanding the concept proposals to an extent where they can evaluate them in accordance to the criteria. - Draw a dot - Communicate with the other participants.

Step by Step


1 Generate criteria for the axes prior to the workshop. 7 Give each group a concept proposal (1 min).
2 Explain the method by showing the template and introduce the criteria that the participants should rate the concept proposals against (3 min). 8 Ask the participants to discuss the placement of the concept according to the matrix and make them draw a dot for the placement (5 min).
3 Make sure that the participants understand the criteria (F). 9 Provide the groups with a new concept each 5 minute and make them place it on the matrix.
4 Divide the participants in groups of 2 or 3. 10 There should be as many rounds as there are concepts to be evaluated. E.g. if there are 5 concepts there should be 5 rounds of 5 minutes.
5 Hang the templates on the wall (1 min). 11 Present the placement of all concepts to the entire group.
6 Provide an overview of the concepts that the participants should evaluate (2 min).

When doing this method you should consider

If the participants are not capable of thinking in a complex manner, it could be an idea to have multiple templates – one template for each idea. This would mean that the participants do not have to compare each concept proposal in regards to each other.

The participants should know all concepts before they are asked to evaluate them in the matrix. If they do not know the concepts, give them more time to also understand the concept before they rate it according to the matrix.

If the concept proposals are complex give the participants more than 5 minutes to discuss each placement according to the matrix.

The method is good for a brief overview of how the concept proposals perform. If the concept proposals has to live up to many criteria it would be beneficial to use the method spiderweb or voting with stickers instead as they can take more criteria into account.

If the participants are not capable of performing the method standing, the template could be laid on a table instead.

The size of the template could be modified if a participant is limited in movement. E.g. a participant is using a wheelchair and his/her movement is limited then it can be difficult to reach far distances on a large template. The template could then be modified into a e.g. a4 paper that could be easier to reach.

Materials needed

Wall space