✋ Stop! Drop! And State the Problem!

A short guide to running a problem statement exercise

Most failures can be attributed to teams who did not understand the problems they were trying to solve. It’s like building a house without a solid foundation.

Stating the problem clearly is your first step to understanding who you are solving a problem for and what the problem is.

Notice, the problem statement doesn’t mention solutions or features! This is your trusty place to start when designing an entire application or individual feature.


  1. Problem Statement (← You are here)
  2. Identify biggest risks and opportunities
  3. Form a hypothesis
  4. Build an MVP to test the hypothesis (least amount of time/effort to validate/invalidate the hypothesis).
  5. Learn
  • Was it validated? → build
  • Was it invalidated → take what you learned, and go back to 3.

Problem Statement

(problem) ______________________________ is a problem for
(user) ____________________________ because
(reason) _____________________________.


Remembering names & faces is a problem for employees, managers, executives because their company is growing rapidly.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps!

Jacob from Designer Hangout