When we speak of “define,” we mean framing the right problem. Identifying the REAL problem is the only way to create the right solution. Sometimes problem definition may be nothing more than the art of asking the right questions at the right time – like we may have done in interviews.
This is your chance, and responsibility, as a design thinker to define the challenge you are taking on, based on what you have learned about your user and about the context. After becoming an instant-expert on the subject and gaining invaluable empathy for the person you are designing for, this step is about making sense of the widespread information you have gathered.
Synthesize What You Learned: In order to synthesize, or to digest, what we have learned, we need to organize our information into like piles. Review your notes and thoughts to list the user needs: the things they are trying to do. Use verbs like build, grow, run, make and other action-oriented language. List your insights into this problem (so far), and make inferences (or fill in the blanks) wherever your partner did not provide all of the information.
Reframe the Problem Statement: In this next exercise, each of you will work by yourselves to define your unique problem statement using the structure you see in your worksheet.
(Person, Group or Organization) needs a way to (insert users needs from your synthesis) surprisingly // because // buy… (insert your insights).
For instance, Students needed a way to learn about the concept of design thinking along with a process to follow but there wasn’t anyone on campus that could do that. So, Idea Lab created a series of weekly classes that made learning easy and fun.
Based on what you learned during reframe, how might you update your problem statement? How might we…”