From WikID

What Is vALUe?

The vALUe Method (Advantage, Limitation, Unique Elements) is used to evaluate a large set of early design ideas in a quick and systematic way. The vALUe method is an inventorying method: it allows a (team of) designer(s) to review and validate the ideas. By explicitly writing down the ideas in terms of advantages, limitations and unique elements, the ideas have a common vocabulary which makes further selection easier. After applying this method, the decision maker has to decide what to do next: look for more ideas, or make a decision as to which ideas will be developed into concepts.

When Can You Use vALUe?

The vALUe method is essentially a technique used in a brainstorm setting. Because it allows ideas to be described in common terms, the vALUe method is best applied in the beginning of the design process, during early idea generation. The vALUe Method works best just after selecting from among a large number of ideas (20 to 50 or more back to 7 +/- 2).

How to Use vALUe?


Starting Point

A large number of early ideas or principal solutions (20 to 50 or more).

Expected outcome

A common description of early ideas. Better understanding of the solution space, i.e. more insight into valuable directions for solution finding. Better understanding of interesting and promising ideas, but also of bad ideas.

Possible Procedure

  1. Generate a large set of early ideas or principle solutions. Use creativity techniques for generating these ideas.
  2. Per idea, answer the following questions:
    • What are the advantages of the idea (A)?
    • What are the disadvantages of the idea (L)?
    • What are the unique elements of the idea (U)?

References and Further Reading

  • Isaksen, S. et al. (1994) Creative Approaches to Problem Solving, Dubuque: Kendall and Hunt.
  • Tassoul, M. (2006) Creative Facilitation: a Delft Approach, Delft: VSSD.


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