Crazy 8s

If you limit people in some way, they're often able to be more creative. It's ironic that if someone feels like they don't have the luxury of taking something slowly, they're able to get more done. This applies to ideation too, and the Crazy 8s method takes advantage of it.

Take a piece of paper and fold or draw on it so that it's split into eight sections. Give yourself a very short time limit, for example 2 minutes, and force yourself to roughly sketch eight solutions to the problem in the time limit. You don't have to care about how good the ideas are, you just need to produce eight of them.

Hopefully one of the ideas is enough to inspire a good solution to the problem.


Roxanne works on a native desktop recipe app, where people can find and save recipes to their account, creating a personal recipe book. Research has shown that people like to save recipes, and then go to the shop to buy the ingredients they need. They have to write down the ingredients themselves, because the recipe app doesn't offer a way for the user to take that list of ingredients with them.

Roxanne wants to consider a few different ways to solve this problem for the users, so she folds a piece of paper into 8 sections. She sets a timer for 2 minutes on her phone and starts frantically sketching possible solutions to the problem. She finishes with 4 seconds left, and looks over her list. These are the ideas she's sketched for how the users could take the ingredients list with them to the shop:

She knows the budget probably won't stretch to a companion app, but she realises that she can make the case for sending an email, and a lightweight website that users can log into to see their saved recipes on the go.

Next chapter →

← Previous chapter

Back to the table of contents