The Idea Napkin serves as a template for describing an idea.


If ideas seem complex or abstract at first, it is worthwhile spelling them out and describing them in more detail first. The Idea Napkin aims to concretize ideas or idea concepts that were generated in an ideation session and that are usually just a word or short sentence on Post-its.


  • Moderator or coach is recommended to keep the session efficient.

  • No specific team roles necessary. Everybody has the same tasks and responsibilities.


  • Pens

  • Printouts of the Idea Napkin templates


1. Idea Napkin

1.1 Template: The Idea Napkin template is used to describe  an idea in order to understand it.


1.2 Fill it out: Fill out an Idea Napkin for every idea you have previously come up with and want to discuss further. Ideally, stick all the Idea Napkins to a free wall so that everybody can see them. The napkin prompts you to give your idea a name, to describe in one sentence, to think of the problems solved and the benefits generated by your idea. In addition, it also gets you to think about the user experience by providing free space for a short storyline.

2. Presentation

Every Idea Napkin is shortly presented to the group in order to ensure that everybody has an overview and basic understanding of all the ideas.



3. Voting

3.1 Voting: Vote to prioritize the ideas. Every team member has one or more votes to cast (“dotmocracy”).


3.2 Discussion: Discuss the result of the vote. Usually, the ideas with the most votes are being prototyped in the next step.

© 2018 University of St. Gallen / ITMP