A 2×2 matrix is a tool to scaffold information about users and your design space to reveal relationships. The hope is to uncover insights or areas to explore more deeply. A 2×2 matrix is also a great way to visually communicate a relationship you want to convey to others.
How to use a 2×2 matrix
Draw a 2×2 matrix (x-axis and y-axis), pick a spectrum for each axis (opposites on either end), and plot items on the map. You can explore any group of things—products, motivations, users.
You might place products on a matrix of perceived quality (low to high) versus use of natural materials (all-natural to all-synthetic). Where do groups form? Notice full or empty quadrants. Where does the assumed correlation break down?
You may have to try various combinations of spectra to find one that’s meaningful. Often the discussion spurred by filling in the matrix is more valuable than the map itself. You can also use a 2×2 matrix to create a competitive landscape. An empty quadrant may signal a market opportunity (or a very bad idea).
design thinking bootleg by d.school at Stanford University