Affinity diagramming is used to sort large amounts of data into logical groups. Existing items and/or new items identified by individuals are written on sticky notes which are sorted into categories as a workshop activity. Affinity diagramming can be used to:
Affinity diagramming is a simple and cost effective technique for soliciting ideas from a group and obtaining consensus on how information should be structured.
Items clustered by topic.
Affinity diagramming to analyse usability issues.
Affinity diagramming for brainstorming.
For pre-existing items, affinity diagramming is an alternative to card sorting. Card sorting finds common patterns in the way different people group information, while affinity diagramming obtains a consensus result.
Beyer, H. & Holtzblatt, K. (1998) Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers ISBN 1-55860-411-1©UsabilityNet 2006. Reproduction permitted provided the source is acknowledged.