Design Games — Design the Box

Design Games — Design the Box

Design the Box game
Summary:

Donna Spencer takes us through the eighth game in our design games series – Design the Box.

Participants design the box for a new product (even one that will never be sold in a box). In doing so, they identify key features and selling points for the product.

Design the Box is the eighth in our series of Design Games.

Is this your first time visiting our design games series? A design game is basically a fun activity played by a small team and used to provide input to a design problem. They may involve users of a product, a project team, stakeholders, or even management.

For a more detailed description of what a design game is, check out our first design game post or refer to our other design games.

Description of Design the Box

Participants design the box for a new product (even one that will never be sold in a box). In doing so, they identify key features and selling points for the product.

To use this game, ask participants to design the box for a product. On the front of the box, they should include:

  • The name of the product
  • A tagline describing the product

On the back of the box, they should include:

  • Key features (3-5 features only)
  • Constraints or requirements (again, just a short list)

The game should be played with a physical box, post-it notes and thick markers (thick so people don’t go into a lot of detail).

Prepare

You’ll need:

  • A product, service or system to be the focus of the activity
  • Something to be the ‘box’, such as old cereal boxes covered in white paper.
  • Fat markers
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You may also prepare an instruction sheet and an example of the activity.

RunBack of an example box showing features and constraints

Start by explaining what the aims of the activity are – to come up with ideas and features for a product and succinctly describe them. Explain the product or service idea. You may want to provide a lot of background, so participants focus on their ideas in some detail, or you may want to provide only very sketchy background so participants focus on generating high level ideas.

Get people into teams (teams of 3-5 work well). Allow enough time for the teams to discuss the idea, focus on what they would like to present, and prepare their box.

This may take anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour, depending on the complexity of the topic.When everyone has prepared their box, ask each team to explain what they have created and some of their rationale.

Analyse

There is little work needed to analyse the outcomes from this game. As the key idea of this game is to identify key features, pay attention to these and the underlying rationale for including them.

Donna Spencer
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Donna Spencer
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