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Exploring ideas

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Varies by case. For example 30 – 60 minutes

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  • A3 size sheet of paper, whiteboard of a computer file

  • Pens and markers of different colour

What is this tool and what is its purpose and benefit?


Morphological Analysis is an ideation method that allows observing and detailing different characteristics and aspects of a service, and then combine these into new solutions. The method uses a matrix table, a morphological box, that showcases chosen aspect options on one axis, and its variations, sub-dimensions on the other axis. For example, for a T-shirt the aspects could include necklines, sleeve styles and fit, and for sleeve style variations, you could have short, sleeveless, long, trumpet, large and fitting. This creates a pool of options to combine into ideas.


Steps how to use this tool in practice

The same steps apply when working individually, in pairs or in a group.


Start from the selected problem and revelations from the Research phase. Select the main aspect for your morphological box based on the research results for your service. Usually 2-3 are selected but more can be selected, for example 5-6. It is good to stay under 10 aspects.


Add sub-dimensions, that is variations, for each aspect. For example, for fastening a jacket these could be buttons, zipper, lacing, ribbons, belt, buckles, toggles, etc.


Analyse the information on the morphological box in relation to the problem to solve.


Select the solution that is the most suitable for solving the problem. If needed, you can choose up to 3 possible solutions for further processing and make the final selection later.

Tips and hints for using this tool

  • Morphological Analysis was created by Fritz Zwicky from Switzerland.

Other tools of this phase

An active and exploratory way to generate ideas


An inspiration board for ideating solutions

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A group ideation tool


A fictional description of a typical customer.


Drawing parallels with analogies for ideas.


Creating ideas together with customers and stakeholders.

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The must, should, could and won’t haves of a service.


Soliciting the expertise of the crowd.


A visual map of existing solutions to the identified problem.

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A visual idea generation diagram.

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Generating ideas quietly and getting inspired by others.

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