Create a Context Map

Understand, reframe, and scope a design challenge

A Context Map can be used early in a project to help team members understand the different aspects of a design challenge, clarifying the project’s scope and focus.


Get the context of a design challenge


Designers, Business Leads


15 - 30 minutes



Before You Start

Use the Explore phase to select the best innovation opportunities
To make sure that you have identified and selected the best innovation opportunities according to your company’s strategic goals and objectives, we recommend you use the  the Explore phase methods suggested here:

Recommended Path: Explore

Materials you will need

Templates for Download

Templates for Virtual Collaboration

(Registration to MURAL is required)


Creating a Context Map includes several steps. We recommend completing them in one session.
  • 5 minutes

Start a silent brainstorming on perspectives

Each member brainstorms up to 8 perspectives in regard to the challenge. Perspectives can be high-level and detailed.

  • 5 - 15 minutes

Share perspectives to the team

Team members present their perspectives to the team, while clustering them to the given 8 petals. After everyone shares their perspectives, give each petal a name.

  • 5 - 10 minutes

Vote and select important clusters

Every team member gets three votes to select the petal cluster they think is the most important one. The petal with the most votes will be a key input for the challenge focus.

While working on the petal clusters, don’t place a perspective between two petals. Each aspect has to be sorted out to one petal.
Petal clusters can and should be rearranged if an aspect doesn’t fit, and no petal should remain free.
It’s okay if not all perspectives are placed in the petals as long as everybody agrees to leave this perspective out.

You're done!

The team can use this analysis to reframe and better understand the design challenge. This may help to improve the scoping of the project.