Weighting and rating

The simplest and most commonly used form of concept selection. Easy to understand and apply, but demands reliable information to be truly effective.

Commonly used method for assessing the relative merits of a range of options. Used to support any type of decision making, from buying the right car (see example) to selecting the best concept.



List the most important features

These should have been determined during the product definition phase and form the criteria against which rival solutions will be judged. Keep this to a manageable amount.


Determine weightings

Some features will be more critical than others. Assign weightings to each, so that their relative merits are accounted for. Ideally, the weightings should be determined in partnership with the target customers.


Score each option

Again, where possible, the scoring should be led by customers to remove personal bias from amongst the design team.


Calculate the weighted totals

Multiply the score by the weighting for each feature and sum the totals


Weighting and rating



This approach can be good at indicating the front runners, but numerical methods like this can be dangerous, as they tend to imply only one 'right' answer. It should always be remembered that both the weightings and the ratings are subjective and arbitrary, and thus although a quantitative answer is gained, it too is subjective. This approach is also extremely sensitive to small changes and it can be easy to 'cook the books', so it needs to be used with caution.


For more information, please contact:

James Moultrie

E: jm329@cam.ac.uk

T:  +44 1223 764830

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