Business Origami

Business Origami is a rapid prototyping method, using paper shapes to represent the users, elements of a system, and the interactions between them. By using pre-made shapes, participants can engage in visual, tangible thinking without being self-conscious about their ability to draw or sketch. This allows people to work together in a group much more easily than in sketching or storyboarding. The shapes are arranged on a horizontal tabletop whiteboard, allowing different scenarios and relationships to be visualized.


  1. Download a set of business origami components (5.9KB PDF)

  2. Cut out the components, one set for each group

  3. Get a whiteboard or large roll of white paper that you can lay horizontally for each group

  4. Have the group create a model of the system or service being designed

  5. Use the components to show different elements of the system, while drawing on the whiteboard to show different areas, interactions and flows.

  6. Model the current system first and then explore options if you make changes

  7. Document the different models you create with photos