Affinity Diagram

What is an Affinity Diagram?

An Affinity Diagram organizes a large number of ideas into their natural relationships.

Why an Affinity Diagram?

An Affinity Diagrams is used as a means to organize or achieve ‘sense-making’ from a large set of needs, ideas or design concepts.

Process Phase

Time

30 mins

Materials

Pens, Paper, Markers

Method Card Reference

DI Method Cards_Compiled Deck_Version 2.
DI Method Cards_Compiled Deck_Version 2.
 

Procedure

List Needs

  • Work in a team. Compile a list of needs interpreted from the discovery phase

1.

Write on Cards

  • Write each need onto a single card or Post-it Note

2.

On the Wall

  • Paste cards on the wall (by yourself or with your team)

3.

Cluster Cards

  • As you put cards on the wall, cluster them based on similar meaning

4.

Best Practices

­­

A.

Do method with a cross-functional team, including stakeholders

B.

Define and name themes based on content of ideas

C.

In clustering cards, first do it intuitively. Don't agonize over getting it perfect the first time.

D.

Read needs aloud to the team while placing card on the wall, one at a time

 

Demo Video

This video gives you a walk-through on how to create and use an Affinity Diagram, through a worked example of a Autonomous Vehicle Design Challenge.

Affinity Diagram Demo Video

Examples

Here are examples of Affinity Diagrams, with clustered needs.

 

References

  1. PathMaker: An online tool to help with brainstorming and affinity diagramming

Additional Resources