UX Design

Don’t Solve The Problem That You’ve Been Asked to Solve!

As a designer, the first job isn’t writing solutions or coming to a conclusion about ‘how’ you can solve this problem. But as a designer, your first job should be —to think.

Mehek Kapoor
Jul 24, 2020 · 5 min read
illustration of a round table discussion in a modern office setting
illustration of a round table discussion in a modern office setting
image credits: Mixkit

You can only come to a perfect solution, when you have a perfect problem statement — right?

Problem statement is, and has to be the focal point of the entire design process. If you really want to solve the problem, you should first clearly know the exact problem.

Decoding the problem statement

Many times the problem statement starts with vague and random sentences. And many other times, the problem statement isn’t even from end-users, but from project managers, business people, or just developers who analyse comments from the app-store or play-store ratings.

Instagram review on Google Play Store
Instagram review on Google Play Store
Instagram review on Google Play Store

The solution to this problem can be either move stories elsewhere, or simply allow users to toggle them on or off as per their convenience.

But if you apply some design thinking here, and logically re-write the problem statement, you would not start with the statement itself, you would rather start with a bunch of questions first —

  1. Have you tried logging into your account from a different device, maybe the problem is solved there? (even if he has, there’s no harm in knowing the answer, right?)
  2. Do you have another account on Instagram? If yes, does the problem persist there as well or is it specifically on one account? (Why is this question even important? Well, I use two accounts on Instagram. One is business and other is personal, and very often on the business account I can’t see the profile image. It’s a black circle, which I don’t understand why. But sometimes, Instagram creates problems for one account and not other).
illustration of people doing a high-five with each other depicting success
illustration of people doing a high-five with each other depicting success
image credits: mixkit

Rewriting the problem statement

Just these few questions might tell you a lot more about the problem, after which the problem statement will change significantly. Let’s suppose you get to know that the user was using small-screen device, because of which he is facing issues with seeing less stories/posts.

Keep it simple, clear and concise

Your problem statement is not only going to be read by you, but by everyone who’s involved in the project. So, it’s essential to keep it short, clear and minimal. A problem statement is not a detailed description of user issues, but a to-the-point sentence that talks about user-issues and problems.

Problem statement simplified
Problem statement simplified
Problem statement simplified

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Mehek Kapoor

Written by

I raise my voice, write my opinions on different topics, and also work as a Product Designer on professional front!

The Designer’s Toolbox

The Designer’s Toolbox is a collection of how-to’s, tips, tricks and best practices in the world of visual, UI/UX and product design.

Mehek Kapoor

Written by

I raise my voice, write my opinions on different topics, and also work as a Product Designer on professional front!

The Designer’s Toolbox

The Designer’s Toolbox is a collection of how-to’s, tips, tricks and best practices in the world of visual, UI/UX and product design.