Crazy 8s

A fast sketching exercise to generate solution ideas
Contributed by

Jerry Becker

Published October 23, 2019

What Is Crazy 8s?

Crazy 8’s is a core Design Sprint method. It is a fast sketching exercise that challenges people to sketch eight distinct ideas in eight minutes. The goal is to push beyond your first idea, frequently the least innovative, and to generate a wide variety of solutions to your challenge. Check out the video in the gallery for a quick overview.

Why Do Crazy 8s?

This practice is a great way to ensure a product team is taking the time to prioritize user needs and generate enough solutions to needs to broaden the potential for finding the best idea. Often times, a team generates a solution and begins development right away without considering whether a solution is a good one. But “good” is a relative term, so ideally teams should be generating a myriad of product solutions in order to compare and contrast and allow the best option to emerge.

How to do Crazy 8s?


  1. Give each participant a single sheet of printer paper and a sharpie.
  2. Have participants fold their sheet of paper in half 3 times, to make eight sections. Look at the image to get an idea of how that works.
  3. Set the timer for eight minutes (1 min per section to sketch an idea)
  4. Each team member sketches 8 variations of the same idea, or 8 different ideas into each section of the sheet of paper.
  5. When the timer goes off, put your pens down.
  6. Have team members spend 2 min presenting their 8 ideas to everyone.

Follow-on Activities

After the team presents ideas, you can run a dot-voting exercise to vote on which ideas and idea components the team likes the most. Afterwards, you can consolidate the ideas into a single idea to flesh out into a testable prototype.

Look at Crazy 8s

Links we love

Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Crazy 8s practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.

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