It is important that the design team and the organisation deeply understand the wider context of change surrounding the design challenge. External factors such as Political, Social, Societal, Technology, Legal, and Environmental issues all impact on potential solutions, so do Internal changes within the organisation.


what is it

The Context Map is a visual understanding / scan of the environment that will help your team understand what factors affect success.



why is it important

Diffferent design team members / participants will have their own knowledge of the why this challenge has arisen. This activity allows each to share their perspective to build a collective breadth of context for what they are trying to overcome in search of solutions. It is another divergent thinking empathy building tool. It should identify any potential roadblocks that might impair project success.



how to do it

  1. Position the Context Map on a wall space where the team can gather around it. Put the project name in the centre.
  2. Silently and individually brainstorm the various trends and factors that apply to the different segments of the Context Map. Use post-it notes and a marker pen to write one trend per post-it note. Use only enough words for others to understand.
  3. Individually share your post-it notes and place them on the context map within the respective sections, explaining each as you do so. Group and collect similar comments together and remove duplicates. Create a new sub- section within each section if any are identified.
  4. Use Red-dot stickers to identify key risk areas, and Green-dot stikers to identify potential opportunity areas.
  5. Write any key questions or discussion points on post-it notes, one per note, and post them in a separate area for later use.
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