Getting inspired is the tough yet heady phase of the design thinking process. Share Inspiring Stories with your teammates so that they become part of your collective consciousness and pay close attention to their stories, learnings and hunches. Have any patterns emerged? Is there a compelling insight you heard again and again? A consistent problem the people you are designing for, face? What feels significant? What surprised you?
These themes will evolve and change, keep sifting through what they mean and you will see how it can spark discussions or new thinking about anything from synthesis to prototyping to iteration.
By Finding Themes and Creating Insight Statements, you have identified problem areas that pose challenges to the people you are designing for. Frame insight statements as How Might We [HMW] questions to turn those challenges into opportunities for design.
We use the ‘How Might We’ format because it suggests that a solution is possible and because they offer you the chance to answer them in a variety of ways. A properly framed How Might We does not suggest a particular solution, but gives you the perfect frame for innovative thinking.
Look for patterns and relationships between your insights and move them around as you continue grouping.
FORM INSIGHT STATEMENTS
Take each theme and rephrase it as a short statement. You are not looking for a solution here, merely transforming a theme into what feels like a core insight of your research.
You only want three to five insight statements and make sure they convey the sense of a new perspective or possibility.
FRAME A HOW MIGHT WE OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT
Ask yourself if the HMW statement allows for a variety of solutions. If it doesn’t, broaden it.
Make sure that your How Might We’s aren’t too broad either.
It’s a tricky process and a good How Might We should give you both a narrow enough frame to let you know where to start your brainstorm, and also enough breadth to give you room to explore wild ideas.
Move the Insights from the Empathy Map into themes and create/refine the themes into Insight Statements
Recognise the themes arising out of the several opportunities you identify and translate them into guiding principles (design criteria) for ideation.
Once you have done this for all the themes, look back at your original design challenge. Sift through your insight statements and discard the ones that do not directly relate to your challenge. You only want three to five insight statements.
Start by looking at the insight statements that you have created. Try rephrasing them as questions by adding “How Might We” at the beginning.
Take a look at the How Might We questions and ask yourselves if it allows for a variety of solutions. If it does not, broaden it. Your How Might We should generate a number of possible answers and will become the launch-pad for your Brainstorms.