 Decision matrix

DECISION MAKING
Choose the best option by considering multiple factors.

Some decisions can be tough to make. Especially when there are more factors that go into making them. Decision matrix is a tool that will help you consider all the important factors when making a decision. It brings more clarity into the process.

It is most useful when you have several options and you need to decide between them based on a number of different factors.

How to use it

Decision matrix is basically a simple table with your options and factors for deciding. The goal is to calculate a score for each option based on their factor scores. The score will help you make your decision.

Here's how to create a decision matrix step by step:

1. Write down the decision you need to make
2. List the options you have
3. Identify factors that you want to consider
4. Score the options on each factor
5. Add weight to the factors
6. Calculate the options' scores – multiply each score by the factor weight, then add them up.
7. Pick your winner – option with the highest score

Let's see how this works in practice.

Practical example

Suppose you're leading a design team and you want to decide which design tool you want to use as a team. You've done some research and you narrowed down your options to three: Sketch, Figma and Framer. Let's put them in your decision matrix table.

 Factors TBD TBD TBD Score Weights Sketch Figma Framer

Now let's look at the factors you need to consider. You have a set budget for tools so cost will be the first factor. After discussing with your team, you agree that prototyping and collaboration capabilities of a tool are most important for them. Now you have the factors that will influence the decision.

 Factors Cost Prototyping Collaboration Score Weights Sketch Figma Framer

It's time to score each option on every factor. Let's use a scale of 1 to 5 (where 1 is the worst, 5 is the best), but you can use any scale you like.

Cost – You find out that Figma and Framer both cost \$12/editor/month, while Sketch is a little cheaper at \$9. You'll score them 3 and 4 respectively.

Prototyping – Framer comes out as the most powerful in prototyping. Figma and Sketch are somewhat similar, but Figma can do a little more. Framer gets a 5, Figma a 3 and Sketch a 2.

Collaboration – You let your team evaluate this one. They agree that Figma is the best for collaboration, scoring it with 5. Sketch and Framer both get a 3.

Let's see how these look like in your decision matrix:

 Factors Cost Prototyping Collaboration Score Weights Sketch 4 2 3 Figma 3 3 5 Framer 3 5 3

At this point, the decision might be a little clearer, but all factors aren't equally important. You need to add weight to them. Since your budget is set, the cost factor is the most important, making it a 5. Your team says that prototyping is a little more important for them than collaboration features. You weight the factors accordingly:

 Factors Cost Prototyping Collaboration Score Weights 5 4 3 Sketch 4 2 3 Figma 3 3 5 Framer 3 5 3

The next step is multiplying the scores with the weight of each factor. Score on each factor then adds up to a final score for every option:

 Factors Cost Prototyping Collaboration Score Weights 5 4 3 Sketch 4*5 = 20 2*4 = 8 3*3 = 9 37 Figma 3*5 = 15 3*4 = 12 5*3 = 15 42 Framer 3*5 = 15 5*4 = 20 3*3 = 9 44

And there you have it. You have a score for each option based on the factors that are important for you. In this case, Framer comes out as the winner.

Decision matrix is a very useful tool for situations like this. When there are multiple factors to consider, this tools removes the uncertainty and subjectivity from your decision-making. It allows you to clearly figure out which decision is the most reasonable to make.

App for the decision matrix

If you want to give this tool a shot, I recommend using an app called Ruminate. It provides everything you need to create a decision matrix and does all the calculations for you.