Prep Time:
Time to run:
30 min

Buy a feature template

A game in which people use artificial money to express trade-off decisions

Courtesy of our friends at

Use this template to simulate the conditions that exist when people have to budget their resources to get what they want.

'Buy a Feature' is a prioritization method commonly used in design thinking and product management to determine which potential features are valued the most by stakeholders.

Because you provide people with a limited amount of currency with which to buy items, participants must pick and choose which are most important, helping you quickly prioritize your list. The resulting decisions are valuable in assessing what features or concepts should be present in the final design.

The buy-a-feature template helps you:

  • Identify what people value as the most important items
  • Quickly prioritize items in a list
  • Better understand the decision-making process behind prioritization

How to use the buy-a-feature template

To use the buy-a-feature template, follow the steps outlined below.

1. Identify a central problem or idea to focus on

Clearly outline what the central focus of your discussion will be. Make sure it can be explained in a few words or one sentence.

2. Build out a list of features associated with the idea and assign values

The next step is to add a list of new features, ideas, or solutions that pertain to the main problem, and assign them (virtual) monetary value based on how difficult they would be to accomplish.

For example, this might be a list of product features from the backlog to be prioritized for upcoming product development.

3. Invite 1-2 stakeholders at a time to play the game, and give them a limited amount of virtual money to spend

Here’s where the game begins — by giving a fixed amount of resources to the key stakeholders, you can see which product features they would prioritize given the constraints.

Additionally, you can monitor the decision-making process, asking questions about why participants make certain choices. Those answers may be just as meaningful as their purchases.

4. Take thorough notes and collect takeaways into themes

As each set of stakeholders moves through the game, write down your takeaways using sticky notes so that you can organize your feedback into groups or themes. This will help make your results more actionable.

Tips for running a buy-a-feature template exercise

To get the most out of your buy-a-feature template workshop, try these tips:

  • Ensure that the problem or idea is clearly outlined and everyone has the appropriate context so that your feedback is meaningful and to the point
  • Use tools like private mode or anonymous voting to avoid groupthink and capture individual feedback even in a group setting
  • Make sure to ask questions of your participants as they work through the session so that you understand the thought process behind their decisions for different initiatives

How to create a Buy a feature template

Mural makes gathering meaningful feedback easy, so you can build better next steps

With Mural, you can run a workshop asynchronously or in real-time, and gather meaningful feedback on any project, all in one place.
Outline navigation & instructions

Outline navigation & instructions

Structure your mural for easy navigation, then add activity instructions for collaborators.

Flexible permissions

Flexible permissions

Control access to collaboration features with view-only, edit, and facilitator settings.

Asynchronous collaboration

Asynchronous collaboration

Innovate and collaborate effectively together without booking time on calendars.

Sticky notes & text

Sticky notes & text

Add ideas, action items, and more as a sticky note or text box — then change the colors and cluster to identify patterns and new solutions.

Anonymous voting

Anonymous voting

Gain consensus and reach alignment quickly, either in real time or asynchronously.

Private mode

Private mode

Avoid groupthink and get authentic feedback by allowing collaborators to add content privately.

Buy a feature template frequently asked questions

What is ‘buy a feature?’

How do I run a ‘buy a feature’ exercise?

LUMA Institute

Template by LUMA Institute


LUMA offers acclaimed in-person training, custom innovation programs, and a unique digital platform (LUMA Workplace), used by innovators in over 70 countries. Leading organizations around the globe rely on the LUMA System of Innovation — a practical, flexible, and scalable approach to Human-Centered Design.