Observe, Question, and Answer

The article, Are You Solving the Right Problems? written by Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg, suggests useful practices to solve a problem by reframing the problem. The reframing approach enables a solver to think differently and seek a better solution.

I still don’t know if the article is related to design field, but it is a helpful tool for designers to understand more on their problems and find alternatives. As the author mentioned, however, reframing is not to find the “real” problem and might not help at all. If reframing is conducted after mistaking the problem, how can we reduce the risk of misunderstanding a problem or identify the root of the problem?

While I was reading the article, I also read an article that provides some practical ways to figure out what the real problem is. Become A Better Designer Through Critical Thinking by Steven Bradley says “take the time to observe different designs and think about why they do and don’t work.” (source)

To do so, the process requires observation, question, and answer because we usually tend to see a symptom of the problem rather than its root cause. I think this is an integral way to empathize with stakeholders and understand their experiences. In particular, observing allows designers to obtain insights into users and their needs, setting aside own assumptions. Both this process and reframing ultimately prompt designers to look at the problem at a distance in order to discover better results instead to concentrate on one spot.