When you have answers to your questions, make sense of what you've learned.

Affinity diagramming


A way of finding themes in collections of ideas, quotes, or observations.


To draw out insights from qualitative data quickly and collaboratively.


Time required

1 hour

How to do it

  1. Record ideas, quotes, or observations from interviews, contextual inquiry, or other sources of research on sticky notes.
  2. Place the sticky notes on a white board (in no particular arrangement). Move the sticky notes into related groups.
  3. Use larger notes (or white board markers, if you’re using a white board), to write titles or catch phrases for each group.

Additional resources

Considerations for use in government

No PRA implications. This method may use data gathered from members of the public, but does not require their involvement.