Problem Statement

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A problem statement is a brief description of a problem that needs to be solved in the design process. It is an essential part of the design thinking process because it helps designers to understand the needs and constraints of a project, and to come up with creative solutions that meet the user’s needs. A problem statement should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). It should also clearly define the problem that needs to be solved and the target audience for the solution. In UX and design thinking, a problem statement is used as a starting point for ideation and helps designers to focus their efforts on creating solutions that address the identified problem.

Additional Resources:

+ What are Problem Statements?

+ Problem Statements in UX Discovery

+ What Is a Problem Statement in UX? (And How To Write One)

+ What Is a Problem Statement in UX?

Here are some examples of problem statements.

  1. Users of our newspaper app often export content from our app, rather than sharing content through our app. This is a problem because target audiences are less likely to know that the content came from our app, leading to lower conversion rates. This is also a problem for app users, as exporting content is time-consuming and could lead to a decrease in app usage.
  2. Sales reps spend a long time planning which leads to visit each month. Because planning is done manually — using Excel spreadsheets and printed paper lists — sales reps find it difficult to meet their targets. Many have complained that keeping track of which leads to visit takes away from the time they can spend with them. This is a problem because, when targets are not met, the business risks losing revenue.
  3. Each year, many applicants call the contact center seeking an update on their application. Applicants often spend a long time waiting to speak to an agent. Because contact-center staff members lack access to case information, they are unable to answer queries from applicants. This situation causes frustration for both applicants and customer-contact staff and represents an avoidable cost to the department.


(Source: Dan Brown,

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