Design Thinking Toolkit, Activity 18 – What’s On Your Radar?

Looking for a great icebreaker or a quick way to gather folk’s thoughts or overall impressions? Wondering what a stakeholder’s highest priority is? Look no further than What’s On Your Radar?

This is part of our series on Design Thinking Methods and Activities. You’ll find a full list of posts in this series at the end of the page.

Primary Goal To gain quick understanding of items or concepts and their priority
When to Use An icebreaker or appetizer for a much deeper activity
Time Required 10-30 minutes
Number of Participants 1-10+
Who Should Participate? Any project participants
Supplies Sharpies, Post-its, and Whiteboard or Large Post-it Pad

1. Prep Your Radar

Gather a marker and stack of Post-its for each participant. On a whiteboard or oversized Post-it Pad, draw a three-ringed radar like so…

Make it quite big, especially if you have a larger group participating in the activity.

Then decide how you’re going to phrase your topic of discussion. For example:

  • What might you serve at Thanksgiving dinner?
  • Where might we vacation next?
  • How might we improve the waiting room experience for patients?
  • What sustainable, reusable materials might we use to replace plastic grocery bags?
  • How might we accept new forms of payment for ticket sales?

In this post, we’ll go with Thanksgiving dinner menu planning!

2. Map Your Radar!

Gather your participants and pose the question to them. Then tell them to write down concepts or ideas (one per Post-It) that answer the main question.

Have them place their answers on the radar canvas in priority order. Items closer to the center of the radar are most important, and those farthest from the center are least.

Allow 10-15 quiet minutes for them to write out and place their answer.

As an extra layer of structure, you can title the quadrants to better organize ideas or concepts. It’s helpful to leave 1-2 sections blank so that participants can name them as they please. You can even divide the radar up into as many sections as needed. (Four to six should do the trick.)

Once all the notes are placed, have participants describe their answers and why they placed them where they did. Interesting conversations will emerge, especially when several participants add the same item but put it in different rings of the radar.

And that’s it! Give What’s On Your Radar? a try at your next meeting or get-together.

This activity was created by the LUMA Institute.

Atomic’s Design Thinking Toolkit