With this method ideas are rated in a democratic manner within a group. It is about the spontaneous rating of ideas. Preferred ideas are identified through sticky dots. The rating by the means of several criteria can give a first evaluation of an idea.


  • Duration
    Short (up to 30 minutes)
  • Complexity
  • Group size
    4 to 100 persons

This activity is suitable online.

Description Long

The dotmocracy-method allows a group to rate ideas democratically. The method is easy and can be realised with little preparation. It allows shy or reserved participants to make an evaluation for themselves. Each participant receives sticky dots, which they can distribute among the ideas. Distribution can also take place by criteria. For example green stands for positive or red stands for negative. The visualisation helps to make a quick evaluation of attractive ideas or to identify preferences within the group respectively. This way the assessed ideas can be further developed. The distribution of positive and negative points or the rating by criteria also allows identifying controversial ideas.



  1. Visible presentation of the existing ideas.
  2. Decide on criteria by which the ideas should be assessed.


Online: Make sure that participants can color points within images or tables. E.g. use an online whiteboard. At least it is necessary that people can vote over a picture or a picture range so that the voting result becomes (in realtime) visible.


  1. Explain the criteria of the rating.
  2. Distribute a fixed number of sticky dots.
  3. Assessment through participants with sticky dots.
  4. Identify the ideas that are further developed.

Hints from experience

Think about the criteria after which you want to assess the ideas. You can also have different aspects (e.g. "wow effect" and "feasibility"). Different aspects can be recognizable through different colours of the sticky dots. Can a participants vote for their own idea? Are double votes allowed? Make sure to know how many sticky dots each participant receives (2-10, depending on the number of ideas).

Tools list

  • Sticky dots
  • Matrix, coordinate system on paper



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