Prioritization Matrices in UX Decision Making

My favorite tool, hands down to use when making decisions is a prioritization matrix, a prioritization matrix is a 2D visual that shows the relative importance of a set of items based on two weighted criteria. I’m going to run through the basics a step by step creation process and then how to adapt this tool to your specific needs. So there’s three basic components to any matrix. First, you have the two axes. These axes represent the variables important to your business in the decision, and there are often criteria like feasibility impact or resources. Second, you have the scale. This is what you’re going to measure those variables on the axes. These are often things like low specific numbers or percentages.

For example, your mapping feasibility. You could create a high, low scale or even a specific time period that something may take to build like one month to one year. And third, you’re going to have content. These are the items that you’re going to be plotting onto your matrix. So once you establish these three basics, the axes, the scales, the items you’re ready to plot. Now, I suggest you approach this in a two step manner. First, have each member of the team vote on the items that are going to be plotted onto the Matrix while each team member gets the same number of votes. They should only be voting based on the criteria that falls within their domain of expertize. So, for example, designers will vote on impact to the user developers, maybe on feasibility, use different colors for different areas of expertize. Second, using those team votes as a guideline collaboratively place each item onto your chart. There should be little discussion in this step. The goal is to only get the items up onto the plot based on the votes in the prior step. Then you’re going to begin discussing negotiating where items fell, astatine questions like are the items received equal votes actually equal? Is idea a really as feasible as idea B even though they got the same number of votes? Do we agree with the items that ended up here or here? Why did certain items get no votes?

Once you practice creating a prioritization matrix a few times, you’re going to want to start to adapt it and have fun with it. You can even set up your matrices so then they directly can compare using those same items across multiple business requirements. It’s really cool. All you need to do is have your ideal or preferred end of the scale on the right and the top, and then you’re going to make a handful of separate matrices but be plotting the same components across them. From here, you can see which items consistently fall in the upper right quadrant. These are likely the items that are worth investing in. You can read more in my article using prioritization matrices on anend group Dotcom.

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