The How-Now-Wow Matrix is an idea selection tool, made popular by Gamestorming. It helps designers to organize their ideas collaboratively. The matrix categorizes ideas based on their originality and the ease of implementation.
PREPARATION: up to 15 minutes
DESIGN PHASE: Creation
DURATION: 20-60 minutes
TEMPLATE OR GUIDELINES: Now-Wow-How matrix sheet
FACILITATORS: 1 per workshop
RESOURCES: Pens, Post-its, a large sheet of paper or whiteboard
PARTICIPANTS: Up to 30 per group, design team, partners, community members
EXPECTED OUTCOME: Filtering ideas
State the selected “How Might We” statement or a sub-focus area of it.
Based on your HMW statement or the focus of what you are interested in, select suitable participants.
Organize a meeting with the selected participants, and prepare the results of the idea generation by printing out the full list of ideas in cards or Post-its (visual way). Gather the necessary resources and supplies. Print Now-Wow-How Matrix in A3 or bigger, or draw it on the whiteboard. Think about what expectations will be set up-front, how you will start and end the workshop, and how much time participants are expected to dedicate to this activity.
All members of the design team and other evaluators put each idea in one of the quadrants of the matrix – How-Now-Wow:
1. How: ideas that you could implement in the future and are innovative.
2. Now: ideas that you can implement immediately but which lack novelty.
3. Wow: ideas that you can implement immediately and are innovative.
Discuss the results and develop a plan to implement the Wow ideas.