Problem	
  &	
  requirements	
  workshop	
  
Charlie	
  Mulholland	
  
13	
  February	
  2014	
  
Goals	
  
•  Clearly	
  understand	
  the	
  “problem”	
  you	
  have	
  been	
  
asked	
  to	
  solve	
  
–  IdenBfy	
  s...
Deliverables (13 March 2014)"
•  Design brief"
•  Research moodboard"
•  User requirements list"
Agenda"
•  Introduction"
–  Who am I?"
–  Some musings on creativity, the design process
and the importance of defining you...
Who am I?"
Some musings on creativity, the design
process and the importance of defining
your problem"
CreaBvity:	
  the	
  starBng	
  point	
  for	
  innovaBon	
  
•  CreaBvity	
  is	
  a	
  process	
  that	
  involves	
  
–...
Tassoul’s creative process (adapted)"

Problem
Analysis

Divergent
thinking

Problem
Statement

Idea
Generation

Convergen...
However, creativity alone is not enough
you also have to implement"
This is where design comes in
Thinking (about) design!
Waterfall: One view of a design process"
But design is about solving wicked problems!"

Source:	
  hKp://farm3.staBc.flickr.com/2744/4524305428_5d6c103eca_o.jpg	
  
An ill-defined problem"
And	
  where	
  
you	
  need	
  to	
  
be	
  is	
  perhaps	
  
around	
  here	
  

Or	
  even	
  he...
No good or bad solutions: just better or worse ones"

Source:	
  hKp://farm3.staBc.flickr.com/2432/3648816968_aff7499167_b.j...
Infinite definitions of the problem and the
solution"

Source:	
  hKp://farm5.staBc.flickr.com/4039/4545729148_a6ce9171d9_b.j...
This makes it difficult to know when to stop"

Source:	
  hKp://farm5.staBc.flickr.com/4047/4697637143_1e401e154c_b.jpg	
  
In reality the design process is more complex
than a waterfall"
Definition

Problem Space

Research

Requirements

Ideation...
And so we need an investigative approach…"

Source: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1037/577849928_b0cfb345ef_b.jpg
…and design research is really important"
Definition

Problem Space

Research

Requirements

Ideation

Concept
Time

Soluti...
To understand why we need to enter the world
of reasoning"

cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Olli Siebelt: http://...
Forms of reasoning"

Some forms of reasoning"

Deductive"

Truth preserving"

Inductive"

Highly probable"

Abductive"

Ta...
Deduction"

All persons
are mortal

Socrates
is a person

Therefore
Socrates is
mortal
Induction"

The sun has
risen everyday
of my life so far

Therefore
the sun will
rise tomorrow
Abduction"

My grass
is wet
this morning

It wasn’t
wet when
I went to
bed

Therefore it rained
last night
Wicked problems need abduction to narrow
down the solution (& the problem)"

I’ll check the weather forecast
(Design) research helps check the conclusions "
Definition

Problem Space

Analysis

Research

Ideation

Concept
Time

Solu...
So design is more complex than a waterfall
and research takes place all the time…"
Definition

Problem Space

Research

Req...
…but our planning is based on a waterfall!"

Briefing

Design brief

Concept

Detailed
design

Final product
#fail fast, #fail early, and don’t #fail to learn"

Source:	
  hKp://farm4.staBc.flickr.com/3272/2970063644_d70d643711_b.jp...
Dealing with “waterfall” planning"
Define
problem

Define
problem

Define
problem

Design
research
(inspiration)

Design
rese...
(Re)defining your problem"
What’s your problem? (10 min.)"
•  As a team develop answers to the following
questions (from the briefing)"
–  Who is your...
What’s	
  your	
  problem?:	
  5Ws	
  +	
  1H	
  (15	
  min.)	
  
Who?

How?
How does the problem occur?

Who owns the pro...
Brainstorming:	
  why	
  it	
  works	
  
Brainstorming “rules”"
•  Define the problem"
•  Set a time limit on the brainstorm session"
•  Capture all the ideas"
–  U...
Brainstorm: Who are the stakeholders?"
•  Spend 10 minutes brainstorming possible
stakeholders for your project and why th...
Categorize (5 min.)"
•  Look for similar types of stakeholder you
identified based on:"
–  Their interests"
–  The type of ...
Selection (5 min.)"
•  Decide on the 3 most important stakeholders
or groups of stakeholders other than your
client and us...
Redefining your problem (25 min.)"

How does your client
define the problem?"

How does stakeholder 1
see the problem?"

How...
Developing initial requirements"
Stakeholder requirements reversal"
•  Reversal: What features and benefits would
REALLY annoy your user? (5 min.)"
•  What ...
Brainstorm: requirements inventory (10 min.)"
•  Categorize and group the user requirements
(5 min.)"
•  Select which user...
Other requirements brainstorm"
•  What are the requirements of those who
support your product? (5 min.)"
•  What are the m...
Other tactics for redefining the problem and
generating requirements"
•  Keep asking questions "
–  What is the real proble...
Remember these are initial problem
statements and requirements"
Things will change later (trust me I used to work in
marke...
Research & inspiration"
Getting ready to be inspired
The story of Leonardo da Quirm"
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99%
perspiration.” (Thomas A. Edison - attributed)"
Watch the film & follow the instructions"

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQmdoK_ZfY"
Welcome to the brain’s programmable “radar”"
The key to being inspired is to define the
problem & then research"
Define
problem

Define
problem

Define
problem

Design
res...
Uses of (design) research"

Design research

Inspiration

Evidence / support

Experiment

Testing explanations
Sources of inspiration during research (or
any time actually)"
The client: briefing"
Desk research / Internet"
“Charlie, you’re a hunter and you won’t get good ideas
just sitting behind your computer.” (Theo Backx)"
Talking to the user"

Source:	
  hKp://farm2.staBc.flickr.com/1010/925252775_58e2691942_o.jpg	
  
Observing the user"
Being the user"
Going outside and looking around"
The work of others"
Next steps"
•  Next session – idea generation & selection"
•  Between now and then"
–  Do your design research"
•  Don’t j...
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MediaLab Amsterdam problem definition workshop 130214

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Problem definition workshop for students of MediaLab Amsterdam

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MediaLab Amsterdam problem definition workshop 130214

  1. 1. Problem  &  requirements  workshop   Charlie  Mulholland   13  February  2014  
  2. 2. Goals   •  Clearly  understand  the  “problem”  you  have  been   asked  to  solve   –  IdenBfy  stakeholders   –  IdenBfy  their  needs,  wants  &  problems   –  IdenBfy  requirements,  restricBons  &  opportuniBes   •  Get  ready  for  inspiraBon    
  3. 3. Deliverables (13 March 2014)" •  Design brief" •  Research moodboard" •  User requirements list"
  4. 4. Agenda" •  Introduction" –  Who am I?" –  Some musings on creativity, the design process and the importance of defining your problem" •  (Re)defining the problem & developing initial requirements" •  Research & inspiration"
  5. 5. Who am I?"
  6. 6. Some musings on creativity, the design process and the importance of defining your problem"
  7. 7. CreaBvity:  the  starBng  point  for  innovaBon   •  CreaBvity  is  a  process  that  involves   –  Understanding  the  problem  -­‐  Problem  defini-on   –  Genera-ng  possible  soluBons  -­‐  Divergent  thinking   –  Selec-ng  the  best  soluBons  –  Convergent  thinking  
  8. 8. Tassoul’s creative process (adapted)" Problem Analysis Divergent thinking Problem Statement Idea Generation Convergent thinking Divergent thinking Idea Selection Concept Development Convergent thinking Clustering / categorizing Briefing Convergent thinking Clustering / categorizing Divergent thinking Clustering / categorizing Situation Analysis Convergent thinking Clustering / categorizing Divergent thinking Concept Selecttion Adapted from: Tassoul, M. (2009). Creative Facilitation. VSSD.
  9. 9. However, creativity alone is not enough you also have to implement" This is where design comes in
  10. 10. Thinking (about) design!
  11. 11. Waterfall: One view of a design process"
  12. 12. But design is about solving wicked problems!" Source:  hKp://farm3.staBc.flickr.com/2744/4524305428_5d6c103eca_o.jpg  
  13. 13. An ill-defined problem" And  where   you  need  to   be  is  perhaps   around  here   Or  even  here   Or  maybe   here   You  are   probably   somewhere   around  here   But  actually   you  might  well   be  here  
  14. 14. No good or bad solutions: just better or worse ones" Source:  hKp://farm3.staBc.flickr.com/2432/3648816968_aff7499167_b.jpg  
  15. 15. Infinite definitions of the problem and the solution" Source:  hKp://farm5.staBc.flickr.com/4039/4545729148_a6ce9171d9_b.jpg  
  16. 16. This makes it difficult to know when to stop" Source:  hKp://farm5.staBc.flickr.com/4047/4697637143_1e401e154c_b.jpg  
  17. 17. In reality the design process is more complex than a waterfall" Definition Problem Space Research Requirements Ideation Concept Time Solution Space Design Development Implementation Follow-up
  18. 18. And so we need an investigative approach…" Source: http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1037/577849928_b0cfb345ef_b.jpg
  19. 19. …and design research is really important" Definition Problem Space Research Requirements Ideation Concept Time Solution Space Design Development Implementation Follow-up
  20. 20. To understand why we need to enter the world of reasoning" cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo by Olli Siebelt: http://flickr.com/photos/shinerclay/485427148/
  21. 21. Forms of reasoning" Some forms of reasoning" Deductive" Truth preserving" Inductive" Highly probable" Abductive" Taking your best shot"
  22. 22. Deduction" All persons are mortal Socrates is a person Therefore Socrates is mortal
  23. 23. Induction" The sun has risen everyday of my life so far Therefore the sun will rise tomorrow
  24. 24. Abduction" My grass is wet this morning It wasn’t wet when I went to bed Therefore it rained last night
  25. 25. Wicked problems need abduction to narrow down the solution (& the problem)" I’ll check the weather forecast
  26. 26. (Design) research helps check the conclusions " Definition Problem Space Analysis Research Ideation Concept Time Solution Space Design Development Implementation Follow-up
  27. 27. So design is more complex than a waterfall and research takes place all the time…" Definition Problem Space Research Requirements Ideation Concept Time Solution Space Design Development Implementation Follow-up
  28. 28. …but our planning is based on a waterfall!" Briefing Design brief Concept Detailed design Final product
  29. 29. #fail fast, #fail early, and don’t #fail to learn" Source:  hKp://farm4.staBc.flickr.com/3272/2970063644_d70d643711_b.jpg  
  30. 30. Dealing with “waterfall” planning" Define problem Define problem Define problem Design research (inspiration) Design research (inspiration) Design research (inspiration) Generate & visualize ideas Generate & visualize concepts Generate & visualize designs Design brief Briefing Milestone Test Milestone Detailed design Concept Test Milestone Test Check problem & solutions Check problem & solutions Check problem & solutions Redefine problem Redefine problem Redefine problem Iterative phase Iterative phase Iterative phase Milestone
  31. 31. (Re)defining your problem"
  32. 32. What’s your problem? (10 min.)" •  As a team develop answers to the following questions (from the briefing)" –  Who is your client?" –  Who is their customer?" –  Who is their user?" –  What have they asked you to do?" •  Now write an initial problem statement in one sentence"
  33. 33. What’s  your  problem?:  5Ws  +  1H  (15  min.)   Who? How? How does the problem occur? Who owns the problem? Who is affected by the problem? Who has an interest in the problem’s solution? Who is else involved? Insights? Why? What? What’s going on exactly? Where? Why is it a problem? Why does it need to be solved? Where does the problem occur? When? When does the problem occur? Check your initial problem statement – does it need to change? "
  34. 34. Brainstorming:  why  it  works  
  35. 35. Brainstorming “rules”" •  Define the problem" •  Set a time limit on the brainstorm session" •  Capture all the ideas" –  Use a white board, flip-over sheet or (better) Post-It Notes to do this" •  •  •  •  Focus on the problem" Do not evaluate or criticize any ideas: write them down" Encourage everyone to contribute" Listen to other ideas and see if this gets you thinking" –  Look for associations" •  Have fun" •  Evaluate the ideas later NEVER during the brainstorming" •  Make sure you do a follow-up"
  36. 36. Brainstorm: Who are the stakeholders?" •  Spend 10 minutes brainstorming possible stakeholders for your project and why they are interested in it" •  On a Post-its write all of them down AND state why your think they are stakeholders (what is their interest in the project)" –  One Post-it per stakeholder !
  37. 37. Categorize (5 min.)" •  Look for similar types of stakeholder you identified based on:" –  Their interests" –  The type of stakeholder" •  Group the Post-its together"
  38. 38. Selection (5 min.)" •  Decide on the 3 most important stakeholders or groups of stakeholders other than your client and user" •  Think about" –  How much impact your project might have on their lives / interests" –  How much influence they can have on the success of your project" –  How much influence they have on your client" –  How much influence they have on your user"
  39. 39. Redefining your problem (25 min.)" How does your client define the problem?" How does stakeholder 1 see the problem?" How do you think the user might see the problem?" How does stakeholder 2 see the problem?" How does stakeholder 3 see the problem?"
  40. 40. Developing initial requirements"
  41. 41. Stakeholder requirements reversal" •  Reversal: What features and benefits would REALLY annoy your user? (5 min.)" •  What requirements must your product have to ensure you do not do that? (5 min.)" •  (You can do this for each of your other 4 stakeholders later)"
  42. 42. Brainstorm: requirements inventory (10 min.)" •  Categorize and group the user requirements (5 min.)" •  Select which user requirements you think are essential (some of them may not be relevant) (5 min.)" •  (Again you can do this for the other key stakeholders later)"
  43. 43. Other requirements brainstorm" •  What are the requirements of those who support your product? (5 min.)" •  What are the marketing, communications and visual requirements of your product? (5 min.)" •  What are the societal, legal and moral requirements of your product? (5 min.)" •  What are the security & privacy requirements of your product? (5 min.)" •  What are the technical requirements of your product? (5 min.)"
  44. 44. Other tactics for redefining the problem and generating requirements" •  Keep asking questions " –  What is the real problem?" –  What problems are similar or analogous to this one?" –  What solutions have there been to similar or analogous problems?" –  Why doesn’t the current solution work?" •  Generate “quick” solutions " –  Categorize these solutions into effective / less effective" –  Look at less effective solutions and ask what makes them less effective?"
  45. 45. Remember these are initial problem statements and requirements" Things will change later (trust me I used to work in marketing!)
  46. 46. Research & inspiration" Getting ready to be inspired
  47. 47. The story of Leonardo da Quirm"
  48. 48. “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” (Thomas A. Edison - attributed)"
  49. 49. Watch the film & follow the instructions" Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGQmdoK_ZfY"
  50. 50. Welcome to the brain’s programmable “radar”"
  51. 51. The key to being inspired is to define the problem & then research" Define problem Define problem Define problem Design research (inspiration) Design research (inspiration) Design research (inspiration) Generate & visualize ideas Generate & visualize concepts Generate & visualize designs Design brief Briefing Milestone Test Milestone Detailed design Concept Test Milestone Test Check problem & solutions Check problem & solutions Check problem & solutions Redefine problem Redefine problem Redefine problem Iterative phase Iterative phase Iterative phase Milestone
  52. 52. Uses of (design) research" Design research Inspiration Evidence / support Experiment Testing explanations
  53. 53. Sources of inspiration during research (or any time actually)"
  54. 54. The client: briefing"
  55. 55. Desk research / Internet"
  56. 56. “Charlie, you’re a hunter and you won’t get good ideas just sitting behind your computer.” (Theo Backx)"
  57. 57. Talking to the user" Source:  hKp://farm2.staBc.flickr.com/1010/925252775_58e2691942_o.jpg  
  58. 58. Observing the user"
  59. 59. Being the user"
  60. 60. Going outside and looking around"
  61. 61. The work of others"
  62. 62. Next steps" •  Next session – idea generation & selection" •  Between now and then" –  Do your design research" •  Don’t just sit here: Go out and look for inspiration!" •  Be the user, observe the user(s) & talk to the user(s)" •  Watch out for serendipity" –  Write a design brief" –  Categorize / combine / organize your findings into a moodboard" –  Create a user requirements list (from your design brief)"

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