Define the Question First

If you’re out to solve a specific problem - to find a specific solution - you have to define your question first. It’s impossible to do without having a specific question to answer. 

A question. That sounds easy enough right?

How do we fix this?  is very different from “How do we address the ergonomics issue? 

How do we make them like it? is very different from “Which visual design should we move forward with?”

Why is it expensive? is very different from “Can we zero in on the areas that are driving the costs higher and see if we can do anything about it?”

Why is it uncomfortable? is very different from “How do we address the pressure points building up in these areas?”

Having a defined question to answer always puts the project in focus - it zeroes in on the issue at hand and helps to drive the solution. It allows you to avoid drift.

  • We’ll need to do an ergonomics study before we proceed. Let’s do some prototyping and do a small usability study
  • Let’s understand what they disliked about approach and address the concerns through several options. We can choose from there and focus group if necessary
  • Let’s take a look at the bill of materials and pin point the main cost drivers. We can consider other materials if it can bring the cost down without affecting the core functions
  • Lets do a wider test fitting and ensure the problem is consistent across all sizes. If so, we can prototype different material densities to pick the best solution

The right question can focus the solution - it can galvanize the team to deliver the answer. It’s worth finding the problems, but it’s also worth finding the right questions. 


#everydaycreativebattle 15/365

This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking.