Design Sprint

Dot voting: What is it?

October 31, 2019

Dot-voting is a facilitation tool that aids decision making in design makers, UIUX designers, project managers and clients.

Advocate of Dot-mocrat

Dot-mocrat is a facilitation tool that aids decision makers, designers, project managers and clients make a unanimous decision. Other common terms are “dot-voting”, “sticker dots” and “dot democracy.” What one outside the UI/UX Industry may not probably know is that this tool is often used to open up discussions without disregarding anyone’s opinion. At the same time, streamline the thousands of good ideas with a good focus.

Here’s how it works:

1. Prepare for the dot-voting.

Obviously, there are already research in the ideas and sketches for the voters but since voters may include people that weren’t part of the ideating process, it is ideal that they come prepared by digging into the best practices they believe in. For an example, voters from the development side can research on technical feasibility and dig into the APIs and their existing codes they can work around with.

2. Schedule the voting rounds.

The time depends on how many ideas and sketches there are. However, it shouldn’t take more than two days. Plus, the round should not be more than 2 hours in a day, especially if it involves the other stakeholders outside of your team.

3. Remind people of the objective.

As the voting round starts, remind individuals of the purpose and value. The facilitator should explain the goal and how many votes they have.

4. Silent voting.

During the votes, individuals should not be discussing with others and remain independent. They should vote for differentiators rather than the basic expectations.

5. Discuss.

Converge and have a discussion on the votes. Facilitator can start with the key questions “who voted for this?”, “why did you vote for this?”, “who came up with this idea and how did you come up with this idea?”

Benefits of Dot voting:

1. Productive

2. Time-efficiency

Let's end with a quote from UI speaker and consultant Stephen P. Anderson “The value of dot-voting is as a discussion tool, not a tool for making decisions.” More often than not, decisions are made hastily and without careful discussion.

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