From WikID

What Is a C-Box?

C-Box extended (from PO3 course 2008-2009)
Example of a C-Box (from student report)

We use a C-Box to generate an overview from a multitude of early ideas. The C-Box is a 2 x 2 Matrix. Two axes are determined that represent criteria according to which the ideas are evaluated. In a C-Box usually the criteria ‘innovativeness’ (for the users) and ‘feasibility’ are used. A C-Box has four quadrants based on these axes. You are able to judge quickly whether ideas are immediately feasible or not, and whether they are highly innovative or not.

A C-box is commonly used in a brainstorm workshop in order to judge the numerous ideas that are generated in such a workshop. This method also works effectively when you are eager to drop highly innovative ideas. This method could also be seen as a first cluster activity of early ideas. However, the clusters are predetermined by the axes you choose. It is possible to vary the meaning of the axes, for example ‘attractiveness’ and ‘functionality’.

When Can You Use a C-Box?

A C-Box is commonly used in early idea generation, in case of a surplus of early ideas (for example 40+ ideas) generated in a brainstorm session.

How to Use a C-Box?


Starting Point

The starting points of a C-Box is a multitude of early ideas (40-60 ideas).

Expected Outcome

The outcome of a C-Box is an overview of the early ideas, clustered in four groups based on criteria set to the axes of the C-Box. Effectively, you have created a first rough distinction between ideas in four groups.

Possible Procedure

  1. Create two axes (innovativeness and feasibility) on a large paper and construct the 2 x 2 C-Box with those two axes, for ex­ample using scotch tape on a wall surface.
    • Functionality: one end is the familiar, the other end represents highly innovative.
    • Feasibility: one end is not feasible, the other end represents immediately feasible.
  2. Make sure all ideas are written down, or drawn on a small piece of paper, for example on a post-it or an A5/A4 size paper.
  3. With a group, review and discuss the ideas, and place the ideas in one of the four quadrants.
  4. Make sure that ideas in one quadrant are situated closely to the criteria they meet best.
  5. Once all ideas are placed in the C-Box, a first overview is created, and following steps can be made. These steps consist of working out the most promising ideas and dropping the bad ideas (not innovative and not feasible).

References and Further Reading

  • Tassoul, M. (2006) Creative Facilitation: a Delft Approach, VSSD, Delft.


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