Solution Sketching.

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.


A brainstorming method that uses sketching and illustrations to communicate issues or problems.


To create team alignment on the design problems that a project may face.


  1. Invite relevant participants (stakeholders, users, team members) to join the workshop. It should be between 6 - 12 people. You'll need drawing equipment.
  2. Begin the workshop by reviewing the design prompt and any research findings applicable to the project. Note: Additional preparation prior to the meeting is encouraged so it's useful to share any relevant materials in advance.
  3. Distribute the drawing materials. Ask participants to individually sketch concepts that they think would address the design prompt. Ensure that the goal of the workshop isn't to achieve artistic accuracy, but rather to untangle the design problems.
  4. Ask the participants to present their ideas to the group, noting any comment or feedback.
  5. After the meeting, compile the comment and feedback received—paying attention to emerging themes. Incorporate areas of consensus into design recommendations into the research plan.

Further Discussion.

While Solution Sketching is a sufficient stand-alone communication and alignment exercise, it works best in conjunction with other exercises that seek to dive deeper into the problems. At Mäd, we often incorporate this exercise in our Design Sprint sessions where its revelation serves as a rationale for the succeeding prototyping phase.

Note that this exercise is also sometimes referred to as a 'design studio'.