An affinity diagram, or affinity mapping, is a brainstorming technique where all ideas are listed out, then similar ideas are grouped together. Finally, each group is titled and given subsets

Affinity Diagram Definition
Affinity Diagram Definition

Affinity diagrams are a standard tool/practice used in design thinking brainstorming sessions. Noting all ideas and categorizing them based on their similarities to one another allows for stronger organization of ideas, and ultimately a more organized plan of action. Instead of having 60 new ideas with 60 new plans to get them to work, you can have 3 main ideas – each with 4 subsets – and each of those can have 5 ideas. A typical affinity diagram can be created following these steps:

  1. Note all ideas on note cards
  2. Put all ideas that are similar or related into the same group
  3. Categorize those groups and note the overarching theme


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