Evaluate the reality of proposed ideas by having everyone rate them on how New, Useful, and Feasible they are. 

👥 3 to 10 people | ⏰ between 15 and 30 minutes


As a group develops and proposes ideas in a brainstorming session, it may be useful to do a quick “reality check.” In the NUF Test, participants rate an idea on three criteria: to what degree is it New, Useful, and Feasible? 

The goal of this exercise is to check big ideas against the realities they will face after the meeting is over. It is not intended to “kill” good ideas, but to identify possible weak points so that they can be shaped and improved before being set out into the world. 


Set up the game by quickly creating a matrix of ideas against the criteria: 

  • New: Has the idea been tried before? An idea will score higher here if it is significantly different from approaches that have come before it. A new idea captures attention and possibility. 
  • Useful: Does the idea actually solve the problem? An idea that solves the problem completely, without creating any new problems, will score better here. 
  • Feasible: Can it be done? A new and useful idea still has to be weighed against its cost to implement. Ideas that require fewer resources and effort to be realized will score better here. 

To play, the group rates each idea from 1 to 10 for each criterion and tallies the results. A group may choose to write down scores individually at first and then call out their results on each item and criterion to create the tally. Scoring should be done quickly, as in a “gut” check. 

A discussion after the scores have been tallied may uncover uncertainties about an idea or previously underrated ideas. The group may then choose to make an idea stronger, as in “How do we make this idea more feasible with fewer resources?”