Placing things or people on a 2×2 matrix where you define the axes can help you clarify relationships and draw out insights.
WHY use a 2×2 matrix
- A 2×2 matrix is a tool to scaffold thinking and conversation about your users and problem space. Use it during your synthesis process to help you think about relationships between things or people. A 2×2 can help you identify insights or areas you want to explore further.
- 2×2 matrices are also a great way to visually communicate a relationship you want to convey, whether that’s to the rest of your team or to an outside observer.
HOW to use a 2×2 matrix
- Pick two spectra (one on each axis), draw a 2×2 matrix, and plot items in the map. The items could be product, objects, motivations, people, quotes, materials – any group of things that would be useful to explore. Put opposites on either end of each axis. For example, you might place different people on a matrix of passion for their career (low-to-high) vs. technology adoption (early-adopter-to-late-adopter).
- Look for relationships by seeing where groups start to form. See what quadrants are very full or empty; where does the assumed correlation break down? The discussion that is spurred by trying to place items on the matrix is often more valuable than producing the map itself.
- You may need to try a number of combinations of spectra to get one that is meaningful and informative. Try some combinations, even if you are not sure which is right – the first attempts will inform the ones to follow. One common use for a 2×2 matrix is a competitive landscape. In this case, an empty quadrant could signal a market opportunity (or a very bad idea).