Dot Voting.

This short insight is from of our Methods series: A discussion of useful working practices and ideas for better ideation and execution.  We discuss what each method is, why they are useful, and how to utilize them.


Dot Voting is a method used for group decision-making, to identify the collective priorities.


This goes back to our belief that all ideas are valuable. To give everyone (not just the most respected person in the room) a level playing field in voicing and voting on what they think is best. It is especially useful with larger groups of stakeholders and groups that are most likely to disagree.



You will need sticky notes and colored stickers for the meeting.

  1. Gather all the relevant stakeholders in the project/product.
  2. Quickly recap the key objectives and relay key findings from any user research previously undertaken.
  3. Ask participants to take 5 minutes to write their ideas (i.e. solutions) on sticky notes (one idea per note).
  4. After the allocated 5 minute, ask participants to put their sticky notes up on a board or a wall. Each note should be accompanied by some brief explanation, to provide clarity and justify the idea.
  5. Stick related ideas together into groups. Remove ideas that are exact duplicates.
  6. Give participants three to five colored stickers and instruct them to place their stickers on features they feel are most aligned to the project’s objectives and user needs. (Stakeholders with high decision making are allowed additional stickers).
    These sticker votes can be for individual ideas, or a general group of ideas–it is recommended to ask users not to overload all their votes on a single idea.
  7. Identify the features with the largest number of stickers (votes).
Sticky notes for ideas & colored stickers for voting.

Once you have you identified the most popular ideas, you will have the opportunity to proceed with the general consensus. There may be an element of 'disagree but commit' for many team members, but remember action is required for progress. It is better to adopt black box thinking by learning from potential mistakes and rectifying them.

Zero decision-making leaves work paralysed at a process roadblock.