Creative Idea Filtering

Creative Idea Filtering method aims to help selection of creative ideas by evaluating them according to novelty and usefulness measures which are the two main aspects that define a creative idea or product¹. At the end of the classification process, the ideas which are categorized as both useful and novel are chosen for next phase of the project for further development.


  1. Draw two circles that intersect each other on a whiteboard or paper.
  2. Name one of the circles as novelty and the other as useful. Intersecting area will be defined as the creative idea.
  3. Draw or write each idea on a sticky note and position each of them on the diagram based on their usefulness and novelty. Ideas that are both novel and useful will be placed in the intersecting area.
  4. Select the ideas that fall under both useful and novel category for the development phase.

Figure 1Creative Idea Filtering 02
Figure 2


  1. Creative idea filtering for 19 ideas starts with drawing the intersecting circles (Figure 1).
  2. One of the circle is named as novel, the other one as useful (Figure 1).
  3. Each idea is drawn on a sticky note and grouped under these categories. For example, ‘dice that always rolls 6′ idea was found novel but not useful. ‘Door knob that unlocks with the fingerprint’ idea was found useful but not novel. ‘Scissor that closes itself when not in use’ idea was found both useful and novel therefore placed under creative category. 6 other ideas, such as ‘webcam mirror’ idea were found neither useful nor novel and were placed outside the circled areas (Figure 2).
  4. 3 ideas that are found both novel and useful are selected for further development (Figure 2).

¹ Flaherty, A. W. (2005). Frontotemporal and dopaminergic control of idea generation and creative drive. Comparative Neurology, 493(1), 147-153.