How to use Dot Voting with 2D matrix

When to use it?

When you want to pre-screen a large number of ideas and still get to the level of insight associated with a 2D matrix.

How to setup Dot Voting with 2D Matrix.

Before the session, the facilitator needs to configure two things;

  1. How many votes or 'dots' a participant will have to distribute between the ideas, and...
  2. ...the values and labels that are going to be on the dimensions of the matrix

How it works during your session

Dot Voting

Firstly, the participants can go through and vote on all of the ideas. They can add all of their votes to one idea, or distribute them to all of the ideas as they see fit.

Once the participants have finished applying their dots, the facilitator displays ranking.

Top tip: discard the ideas at the bottom, so you have a refined list of ideas ready to be evaluated in more depth with our 2D Matrix.

2D Matrix

Participants score each idea across two dimensions. The results are displayed on a 2D matrix to enable discussion on which ideas to take forward.

Recommended time: 30-60 minutes ⏰

Number of participants: 3-20+


This is a great activity for initially shortlisting ideas then using 2D Matrix to really concentrate minds.

Some final thoughts to support you when running this activity:

  • Be ruthless when pruning between Dot Voting and 2D Matrix. This is an opportunity to focus in on the consensus ideas in the group
  • As usual with Dot Voting, be wary of very similar ideas sneaking through; they can split the vote on dot voting and result in a popular idea not making it to the top-end of the list
  • For any 2D Matrix, make sure your axes and scale make sense. You are aiming to get the best ideas clustered in one location; preferably the top right corner. Try to consider the direction and scale to get this result on the final matrix.

For more detail on each underlying activity, please see their individual pages: Dot voting, 2D matrix

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