What is a problem statement?
Problem statements describe the issue and/or problem that a designer is trying to solve. These statements are usually written to allow the designer to take action. That way the statement can be used to help center and focus the designing team on user experience at the very beginning of the design process.
Understanding the problem is essential for designers in order to create a potential solution. By pin-pointing the current problem that needs to be solved, designers are able to see and understand what information they already have and what they are missing. Problem statements can be re-written, and updates as often as the designers feel is necessary.
Writing Problem Statements
Now, take all of the statistics, thoughts, facts, and other information that has been gathered during the research phase and put them together in a problem statement in 140 words or less. The problem statement is organized as such:
_____________ is a challenge for ____________ because _____________.
For examples of problem statements I used Renee Maloney and Bree in the episode from Undercover Boss for the company Painting With A Twist.
Problem Statement 1
Quality control is a challenge for Renee Maloney because she is not used to physical laboring work.
I came up with this problem statement because during the episode Renee goes to Louisiana, to work for a few hours at the quality control warehouse. She works with Calvin who asks her to check every single canvas, and a few minutes into the job she asks Calvin when lunch is because she’s sweaty and tired. Renee works in an office, and never does any physical labor. To solve this issue, Renee could become more physically fit.
Problem Statement 2
Teaching a class is a challenge for Renee Maloney because she is not artistic and has bad audience engagement skills.
I came up with this problem statement because Renee goes to San Antonio to work with Macy who is an instructor. Renee is not an artistic person, and she has never taught an art class. She struggled keeping the audience engaged. Macy was the co-instructor, and she did most of the audience engagement. To solve this issue Renee could learn more about audience engagement. Having artistic skills is not the most crucial aspect of teaching, it’s audience engagement.
Problem Statement 3
Understanding the creative aspect of the company is a challenge for Renee Maloney because she only sees the financial aspect of the company.
I came up with this problem statement because Renee works in the office, in the financial side of the business. She spends all of her time in the office and doesn’t have the time to be creative. To solve this issue Renee could spend time at her own studios and be an audience member to experience the creativity and artistry.
Problem Statement 4
Finding a better way to do franchise teachings is a challenge for Renee Maloney because she doesn’t know how it was done in the first place.
I came up with this problem statement because during the episode of Undercover Boss Renee goes to Pennsylvania to meet Steve who opened a franchise location of his own. When Renee got there she learned that Steve didn’t get the teaching and tips that were required. Renee used to oversee these teachings when they were beginning to franchise. Now they have gotten too big to watch all of the locations, and Renee learned that this location fell between the cracks. To solve this issue Renee can learn more about the franchise teachings and understand how to better teach and treat franchise locations.
Problem Statement 5
Creating original art is challenge for Bree because she doesn’t get compensated for the work, so she isn’t motivated to do it.
I came up with this problem statement because when Bree is introduced in Undercover Boss she shows Renee around the studio and tells Renee all about the pieces of art that are on the walls of the studio. Bree mentions that she loves to create original art and that the company encourages original art, however the artists don’t get compensated for their work. Which makes Bree not want to create originals. To solve this issue the company can look into giving artists compensations for the work, whether that is monetary or beneficial compensation.