What's In a Name?


"What's in a name?" is a research game that can be used to define the taxonomy of features within product. It can be particularly useful to understand why current taxonomy may or may not work with the desired user base. This template is designed to be used as an activity within a 1:1 moderated research session.

Research participants are presented with a list of feature descriptions. Using the description, participants generate their own name for it before being shown the current name being used. They then make a selection of which name better fits the description.

Setting up the game

Working with your product team, identify which features you want to align on the taxonomy for. Then develop descriptions for each and place them in the grey boxes provided. Blue stickies will be used for participants to add their own feature names. Orange stickies will be used to display the current name of the feature in the product. You can choose whether to add the current name live during the session or to hide the sticky note until it's time to reveal it. The dotted line box is where participants will move their preferred name to.

Running the Game (Run Time: 10-15 minutes, including discussion)

For each feature, have the participant read the description and then enter their desired name for it. Ask about where the idea came from, why that name makes the most sense to them, etc. Next reveal the current name of the feature and ask them to talk about what, if anything, makes sense about the current name or, if applicable, why it doesn't work for them. Finally, have them choose their preferred name and move it to the third box. At this point, ask them what drove them to make that decision.


Special thanks to Zarla Ludin, a Research Director at Craft, for consultation and feedback on this template when I first used it.


Sean Sheehan image
Sean Sheehan
Senior Researcher@Craft
I'm a design researcher/strategist and workshop facilitator who loves getting to the root of users' needs to help build better things.

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