How Might We (HMW) is a design thinking process used in the field of user experience (UX) to frame design problems and generate innovative solutions. The HMW process involves rephrasing problems in the form of open-ended questions that allow designers to explore a wide range of possibilities. In this article, we will take a closer look at the HMW process and how it can be used in UX design.
What is the How Might We Process?
The HMW process is a brainstorming technique that is used to identify and frame design problems. The process involves rephrasing problems as open-ended questions that begin with the phrase “How might we…”. These questions are designed to encourage creative thinking and generate a wide range of solutions.
For example, if the design problem is to improve the user experience of a mobile app, the HMW question might be “How might we make it easier for users to navigate the app?”. By rephrasing the problem in this way, designers can explore various solutions to the problem.
How is the How Might We process used in UX design?
The HMW process is used in UX design to frame design problems and generate innovative solutions. The process is typically used during the ideation phase of the design process when designers are generating ideas for new products or features.
The process involves several steps:
1- Identify the problem: The first step in the HMW process is to identify the problem that needs to be solved. This may involve conducting user research or analyzing data to understand the pain points of users.
2- Rephrase the problem: The next step is to rephrase the problem as an open-ended question using the phrase “How might we…”. This question should be broad enough to encourage creative thinking but specific enough to focus on the problem at hand.
3- Brainstorm solutions: Once the HMW question has been identified, the next step is to brainstorm solutions. This may involve a group brainstorming session or individual ideation.
4- Evaluate solutions: After generating a list of potential solutions, the next step is to evaluate them based on their feasibility, desirability, and viability. This involves considering factors such as user needs, technical constraints, and business goals.
5- Prototype and test: Once a solution has been selected, the next step is to create a prototype and test it with users. This allows designers to get feedback on the solution and make any necessary adjustments before launching the product.
Benefits of the How Might We process:
The HMW process has several benefits for UX designers. Firstly, it encourages creative thinking and allows designers to explore a wide range of possibilities. This can lead to innovative solutions that may not have been considered using traditional problem-solving techniques.
Secondly, the process helps to focus the design process on the needs of the user. By framing design problems as open-ended questions, designers are encouraged to think about the user’s needs and preferences, which can lead to products that are more user-centered.
Finally, the HMW process can help to reduce the risk of failure by encouraging designers to test solutions with users before launching a product. By testing and iterating on solutions, designers can ensure that the final product meets the needs of the user while also aligning with the goals of the business.
The How Might We process is a powerful tool for UX designers that can help to frame design problems and generate innovative solutions. By rephrasing problems as open-ended questions, designers can encourage creative thinking and focus on the needs of the user. The process can help to reduce the risk of failure by encouraging designers to test and iterate on solutions before launching a product.