A problem statement is a concise description of an issue to be addressed or a condition to be improved upon. It identifies the gap between the current (problem) state and desired (goal) state of a process or product. Focusing on the facts, the problem statement should be designed to address the 5 W’s – who, what, where, when, and why. The first condition of solving a problem is understanding the problem, which can be done by way of a problem statement. Source: Wikipedia 

  • It should focus on only one problem
  • It should be succinct
  • It should not suggest a solution
  • It should be phrased as a question
  • It should not impose limitations
  • It should be actionable
  • It should be specific
  • It should be human-focused, not organisation-focused

How Might We

How Might We (HMW) opens up Ideation sessions where you explore ideas that can help you solve your design challenge.

Expand on the HMW questions

  • How might we…?
  • In What Ways Might We…?
  • What’s stopping us from…?
  • In what ways could we…?
  • What would happen if…?

From there, you can ask follow-up questions such as:

  • Why would we…?
  • What has changed to allow us to…?
  • Who would need to…?
  • When should we…?

User need statement example

I am a college student and I hate folding laundry because I can’t seem to fold it the right way.

Point of view question example

  • How can we make it easier for college students to fold their laundry?
  • How might we encourage students to fold their laundry?
  • What’s stopping us from producing a series of how-to guides?
  • How might be make it easier for students to wash their clothes?
  • What’s stopping us from employing people to teach / help students?

Point of View Statement

Content Problem Strategy

David Hodder - Problem Statement Wheel