Convergent Design Workshop

Convergent Design Workshop is a method to narrow the possible design solutions by facilitating input from the team. Each potential solution is presented and a vote is held. Ideally this will result in a clear winner, but more often than not there will be some hiccups. For example, there may not be a clear consensus or people may feel pressured to vote how the team leader is voting. Using the Dot Voting method can help mitigate this issue.

When to Use

  1. Following an exploration phase where multiple, divergent design solutions have been created
  2. Either in conjunction with or in place of a Concept Evaluation Test with users
  3. To narrow potential design solutions prior to prototyping or the development phase
  4. To foster consensus amongst team members before moving forward with a design idea

Workshop Details

Attendees Ideal Size Suggested Time
1 representative per discipline 5 to 7 people 1 to 2 hours

Prep Work


Prep Work

Concept out three distinct approaches to a design problem. The goal is to have three vary different approaches, even if none of the approaches are ideal. Often the best approach is somewhere between two of them.

Present Solution Approaches

  1. Hang everyone’s sketches up on a wall in the same way art is presented in a gallery or museum.
  2. Each person has 3 to 5 minutes to present their solution
  3. The team can ask questions or discuss details in the solution.

Assumptions and Questions Review

After generating a range of ideas, and before deciding on a solution, it’s valuable to list out all the assumptions that the concepts are based on; this helps to identify the key questions that the solution will need answered.

  1. After each person presents their Solution Sketch, as a group, list out the assumptions that are underlying the concepts.
  2. Re-state them as questions you want to answer
  3. Prioritize as a group the top 3 that the team would like to answer with the sprint. For example: _ _Assumption: This voice activated interface assumes users are comfortable speaking to their phone. _ _Question: Do users feel comfortable speaking to their phone?
  4. While reviewing, document any feedback with sticky notes.

**Use Dot Voting method to narrow options **

An team exercise where everyone uses sticker does to vote on your favorite solutions based on specific criteria. Similar to silent critique but with the intention to decide the final solution based on the design challenge, design principles, the goals, and success metrics.

  1. Review the design challenge, the goals, design principles, and success metrics so everyone knows what the voting criteria is and remind the team this is a deciding vote.
  2. Give each team member a sheet of small dots. Explain to them to put their dots on the area of the Solution Sketches they think are the most compelling, on a scale of 1 to 5, indicating dots based on how strongly they feel each concept should be selected.
  3. Rules for voting: you can vote on your own and elect up to 3 concepts to apply small dots to.
  4. Allow 10 minutes for voting.

Finish with Back Burner Board

Many ideas would be generated by now. Some of the ideas will be pertinent to the tasks at hand, but others, although interesting, won’t be. Capture these good but not immediately relevant back burner ideas on a sticky note board.

  1. Have a dedicated space to collect back burner ideas on the whiteboard.
  2. Throughout the sprint have everyone write down ideas that are not directly solving the job-to-be-done and put them up on the whiteboard.
  3. As a team during the converge phase, review all the ideas that have been put up on the wall. Trash any that aren’t relevant anymore.
  4. Record all ideas in a separate document or Trello.


  1. Google Design Sprint Kit Decide Phase

Templates (if applicable)

Created by: Joe Steinkamp | Last updated by: Joe Steinkamp