Write a Meaningful Problem Statement To Get To The Most Effective Solution

Becky Graham

By Becky Graham
Creative Director

Write a Meaningful Problem Statement To Get To The Most Effective Solution

Defining a meaningful and actionable problem statement is the most challenging and important part of the design thinking process.

There are many steps that make up the UX Design Process, from whiteboard brainstorm sessions to prototyping potential solutions. At the start of any new project, one of the first steps a UX team must take is ensuring everyone has a solid understanding of the problem being solved for the user.

A meaningful problem statement focuses on the user and their needs. Using key insights found during the Research and Discovery Phase such as wants, needs, and pain points from user interviews will help define a user-focused problem statement that will guide the entire team to an effective solution in a methodical way by:

  • Synthesizing our observations into a concise statement
  • Bringing clarity and focus to the design space
  • Kickstarting the ideation process in the right direction

Effective problem statements are made up of three key elements

1. Who the audience or user is

state who your audience is

2. What the user needs

state what they need

3. Compelling insights with context to establish why it is important

state a compelling insight

Problem Statement:

Our 4,000 person traveling Sales team needs to feel more connected to the company culture and workforce because they don’t work in close proximity to one another and have valuable customer knowledge to share.

Once a problem statement has been defined the team will be aligned and equipped to brainstorm potential solutions.  With a clear, actionable problem statement, the team will be able to stay on track, help communicate objectives to key stakeholders, and finally get to the most effective solution for the user. 

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