Design the Box

Design the Box is an exercise where participants actually create a product box to represent the vision for a service. Participants are asked to imagine that their service is sold in a box on a retail shelf. This can help clarify the vision by creating that box and filling out common product packaging information.

Design the Box creates a structured set of constraints that helps a group focus on the essential elements of a project or strategy. The box also provides a concrete, tangible representation of what a project or strategy is about.


  1. Have participants work in small groups using the supplied Design the Box template (5.9KB PDF) on 11x17 paper
    • Front
      1. ​​Give it a name
      2. Give it a tagline: what is the service about in one sentence?
      3. What are the top three benefits someone gets from using this service?
    • Back
      1. ​​What are other benefits, features or functions?
      2. What would be the testimonial or quote from a delighted future user?
      3. Can you show a sketch, photo or screenshot of the service in action?
    • Sides
      1. What are the requirements to access the service?
      2. Think about requirements for users, such as specific qualifications.
      3. Think about requirements for your own team, like office hours or mobile network connections.
  2. Share the boxes with the whole group. Consider iterating and consolidating so that there is agreement on one final box.
  3. Optional: Create a high-fidelity version of the box using Photoshop, or use an actual physical box.