Create a Problem Statement

Turning problems into statements of opportunity

A Problem Statement formed as a “How Might We” question helps focus the problem into a statement of opportunity. They serve as a basis for idea generation in the Design Phase. Dialogue and discussion within the team is key. Creating “How Might We” questions is an exercise that frames questions that address the user’s needs and motivations.


Problem Statements help focus the problem into a statement of opportunity.


Designers, Business Leads


15 - 30 Minutes



Before You Start

User Experience Journey Map
You can understand current challenges and motivations for the user over time to derive insights about the use case, with the following method:

User Experience Journey Map

Materials you will need

Templates for Download

Templates for Virtual Collaboration

(Registration to MURAL is required)


Creating the problem statements includes several steps. We recommend completing them in one session.
  • 5 - 10 minutes

Discuss within the team

  • What have you learned about the user and their current journey?
  • What was most interesting, inspiring and surprising? Why?
  • Articulate the insights, the most important user needs, limitations and conditions of success.

Prior to this exercise, the team must have developed a common understanding about the user as well as the user’s needs, motivations, limitations and/or criteria of success.

  • 10 - 20 minutes

Create “How Might We” questions

Start phrasing 3 – 5 “How Might We” questions by formulating the results from Part 1 into questions. These questions are the basis for a first round of idea generation.

See Completed Example

You're Done!

Use the problem statements as basis for the first ideations.