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The concept is simple: give each team member eight minutes to sketch out eight ideas on a Crazy Eights template. The frenzy that follows can produce some pretty wild ideas. It is called Crazy Eights for a reason!
Let’s take a closer look at what you can accomplish with the Crazy Eights technique.
Crazy 8’s in Design Thinking
Crazy 8’s is as a core component of the design sprint stage within design thinking. It challenges designers to really think creatively, pushing past their initial ‘normal’ ideas to get to some really crazy, abstract or impossible ones.
With the time set to just eight minutes, designers don’t have time to critique, refine or overthink ideas. They just need to scribble something down in that small box and then keep the ideas flowing as they move on. Similarly, the sketches don’t need to be artistic, they just need to express an idea. Therefore, it’s important to reassure everyone that they’re not being judged on their artistic abilities.
The aim is diverging until you have a wide range of solutions, then converge back until you land on the winning idea.
Crazy eights in UX design and prototyping
You can use the Crazy 8’s strategy to come up with designs for website landing pages, e-commerce sites, products or even spatial designs. Basically, anything that has a user experience (UX) element to it. The shape of the template lends itself to mobile wireframes, but feel free to turn the template 90 degrees to better suit website page layouts.
In UX design, the customer needs to be at the centre of all designs. So it can help to invite various stakeholders, or the client, into a UX design Crazy 8’s workshop. That way, you may be able to identify what they have in mind subconsciously, saving a lot of back and forth.
Crazy Eights as a brainstorming technique
Crazy Eights works well for general brainstorming as it provides structure, it’s short and sharp, and it can pull ideas out of the subconscious mind. Similarly to the brainwriting technique, you find previous ideas trigger the next one and so-on. If you’d like to explore additional brainstorming techniques, we’ve rounded up 15 brainstorming techniques and templates you can use collaboratively with your team.
Whether your team is co-located or remote, using a collaborative online whiteboard will make it easy for everyone to participate in real-time. Plus, we’ve taken the step for you by creating a simple and free Crazy 8’s template.
Crazy Eights template
- Start by inviting everyone to open a board (or insert a Crazy 8’s template for each person on one board).
- Set a timer for 8 minutes (or 8 individual one minute blocks)
- Ask everyone to sketch out 8 quick ideas in the boxes within the time limit using the pen tool. Remind everyone it’s about the concept, not the sketching skills, but they can also use icons, lines, text and shapes. No idea is too crazy!
- As soon as the timer buzzes, it’s time to stop.
- Everyone takes turns presenting and explaining their ideas.
- Then ask everyone to vote on their favorites by assigning dots or ticks next to the top.
- You may choose to move the winning ideas into the prototyping phase, or do another round of Crazy 8’s to refine the ideas even further.
By using an online Crazy eights template, you are able to easily iterate and collect feedback on the one board. That way, you can preserve feedback as it’s not erased at the end of the day. Plus, you can easily expand and refine the ideas over time.
Crazy 8’s is a great technique to get team members to collaborate remotely in a cost and time efficient way. Remember, it’s not about the quality of the ideas, but the quantity. You never know when inspiration will strike and spark an idea!