Dot Voting

Among the easiest and most intuitive ways to prioritize ideas... and always efficient. Get a sense of which ideas you should focus on by using the Dot Voting scoring activity.

When to use it:

When you want to evaluate a large number of ideas to identify the key priorities. Also knows as multi-voting, sticker voting, sticky-dot voting, sticking dots, dot-mocracy, dot democracy... It's a simple yet efficient way for the participants to place their vote (1 vote : 1 dot) on the ideas they value the most.

How to set up Dot Voting:

Before the workshop, you need to configure how many votes or 'dots' a participant will have to distribute between the ideas.

The default number is set at 10, but this configuration is worth consideration! If you know you're going to have a reasonably small number of ideas, keep the number low (feeling resolute? You could just have 1 vote to really force participants to consider which one idea they really like).

NB: you will not be able the edit the number of votes during the session.

How it works during a live session:

  • First participants can go through all of the ideas and add or remove votes to each idea based on their preferences; they can use the +/- buttons to set the dots per idea, or type directly the number in the box.
  • Consider reminding participants not to throw all their votes at the top of the list; if there are a lot of ideas available to vote on, there is often a temptation to go wild initially and then find that there are no votes left when they have got to the bottom of the list.
  • Once the participants have finished applying their dots, the host can go through the next step, review. The review will displays ranking: the idea with the most number of votes will appear at the top, the other ideas will follow in descending order.


  • Like any evaluation, it helps to make sure the ideas have been properly pruned before entering the phase; dot voting, however, can really suffer if there are two very similar ideas as it will potentially split the vote for what is basically the same idea
  • We recommend discarding ideas with the lowest votes to ensure the following stages will focus on what's important (don't worry, discarded ideas will not be carried over in the session but are not lost! All ideas will be captured in the Excel export).

Recommended time: 5-60 minutes. It really depends on the number of ideas to score, and the depth of the discussion on the review of the results.

Number of participants: 3-20+. This activity easily suits all different types and sizes of audiences.

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