Bright stars

Categorising all your ideas to identify the ones to develop further

Practical Information

What is this tool?

A matrix framework to evaluate ideas based on their impact and likelihood to succeed.

Why do we use it?

After you have generated many ideas, this tool helps to select the most impactful and feasible ideas for your solution. It is very helpful for prioritisation and joint decision-making.

Design phase:



Pen and paper, Post its, Online tool


30 minutes - 1 hour

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Worksheet URL

A step-by-step guide

1. Prepare a matrix with two criteria on the different axes. You can use the worksheet or copy the examples on a big sheet of paper. You could also create new axis labels if there are other characteristics that are important in your project.

2. Use the ideas that have been generated in a previous step, for example in a brainstorm session using a mindmap or the lottery game. Review the ideas, preferably with a small group and place each ideas on the field by evaluating them according to the 2 axes. 

3. Based on the position of all of the ideas, you can select the ‘bright stars’ to focus on in the design of the project. Bright stars are the ideas that are positioned most positively in the matrix as most likely to succeed and most impactful. 

4. Reflect on the ‘Bright Stars’ and decide which ideas you want to take further and see if there are ideas that can be combined. If you are in a  group that is divided, you can use a voting system: give everyone 2 or 3 stickers and ask them to place each sticker on their favorite bright stars. Another way to decide is to have one final vote (from the decision-maker) that is informed by the other votes of the group. 

How other organisations used this tool

How to use the outcomes of the tool?

The selected bright stars are the ideas that should be developed further by visualising them in a user journey or a prototype.

Related tools

Lottery game
Generating many creative and fresh ideas
Use the outcomes of the Lottery game and categorize the new ideas that surfaced using the Bright Stars matrix to select the ideas to develop further.
User journey
Making your idea come to live by describing it from a users perspective
Once you have found the best ideas you develop them further by using the user journey, imagining how your target audience would interact with them and how they would benefit them.

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