What Are Problem Statement UX Used For? [Complete Guide 2023]

by | Jan 23, 2023

Designers have to face many challenges until they deliver a final product with the best features. But still, many times, their products fail. There could be multiple reasons behind a product’s design not being appreciated by the public. But since UX design has entered the market, solving design problems has become more accessible.

Why? Because researchers have developed the best UX research and problem-solving methods to create a User Experience for website design or mobile apps that captivate customers. Problem statements in UX are convenient for solving numerous design challenges. This blog will walk you through the problem statement UX and why it is crucial for designers.

What Is the Definition of the Problem Statement?

problem statement UX

In simple terms, a problem statement summarizes the users’ pain points, demands, and needs that help you determine how you will take care of these in UX design. It doesn’t give you details about the functionality of design elements but instead provides insights into the purpose of your design and how it serves your users.

For example, if a user interacts with a banking app or dating app, they are concerned about keeping their information secure without having to do two-factor authentication. So now it is a problem for you to find an easier way to secure users’ information.

Meaning of Problem Statement UX Discovery

Problem statements in UX give designers a clear direction on what issues to address in your user experience. Although they don’t give you details related to the design or how to optimize it for UX, these problem statements help you to understand which user pain points you have to target.

It creates an outline for UX research which helps you investigate and resolve a UX challenge. Sometimes users aren’t even aware of what they desire from your product, but your UX design helps them to figure it out. This is also where you can use problem statements to discover how to help users solve their queries.

“Rule of thumb for UX: More options, More Problems”.

Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer

What Is the Purpose of Problem Statements?

The purpose of problem statements is to evaluate your UX design before starting the design process. First, you start with identifying what the current design problems are. Then you evaluate which of these problems are reasonable and require immediate solutions.

Since UX research is a detailed and lengthy process, you can use problem statements to find the main concern and issue by briefly explaining it. Then you can study a UX problem more systematically and decide how to conduct UX research.

Also, Read about UX Information Architecture.

How to Create a Strong Problem Statement for UX?

We will walk you through the essential steps of writing a problem statement UX. Before writing a problem statement, you have to address three questions:

  • What is the current problem?
  • Why do you need to write it?
  • What is the significance of this statement?
  • How will it contribute to your existing knowledge of UX design?

Once you identify the answers to these questions, you can move on to the problem statement UX process.

1- Search Background

As you have identified your problem, you should start by searching the background. Ask where the problem has occurred, why it occurred, and when did it occur?

Analyze where you lack in your design that caused the problem or if it is a new issue that arose with changing user trends or perceptions.

problem statement UX

2- Find the Affectees

The next step is to determine who is affected by this problem. Because UX is a user-centered design approach, you should think about your customers. Your users will help you create your problem statement UX.

For this step, you can use the 5Ws approach:

  • Who is affected by this problem?
  • What is the problem?
  • Where is the problem occurring?
  • When did this problem occur, or when does it occur?
  • Why is it important to solve this problem?

Answer all these questions before moving on to the next step.

3- Impact of Problem

Then you have to measure the impact of the problem on your users. Identify how is it affecting them. Research in-depth how users feel when they face this problem and what they expect from you in response to it.

4- Create a User Persona

Now for our fourth step, create a user persona or scenario. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and notice their pain points. Create a fictional representational of your ideal client. Then learn about the following information:

  • Customer background personal
  • The professional background of the customer
  • User environment
  • Psychographics
  • End goals of user with your product

Then start connecting the dots and create a defined problem statement that involves who is affected, how they are affected, and what goal they want to achieve.

For example, ” A user faces [problem] when they are using [your product or the specific feature], and they [need] a [hypothetical solution] to accomplish [their goal]”.

5- Solve One Problem at a Time

Now for the last step, we have some advice for you. Many UX designers puzzle themselves by focusing on all the identified problems simultaneously. You should never do that. Instead, list all your problem statements and identify them from most important to least important. Start solving them in a sequence starting from the most critical problem statements.

Learn more about The Importance of UX Mentors.

The Impact of Problem Statement Formula

The above steps we have provided you to write a strong problem statement can also be called a problem statement formula. Now you might be thinking why this formula is effective and what is its impact. Are big corporations using these statements in their UX projects?

To brief you about these questions, this approach and formula are relatively common, and numerous companies have used them.

For example, GoPro had a problem with their current mobile app because their app was only helpful for three things and was considered a dull app. They wanted to deliver a new app that could beat mobile apps like VSCO and Instagram. So the problem statement which designers can identify is “GoPro needs a new app for iPhone to target their audience”.

Such statements have a powerful impact on designers as they can see a picture of how to execute the project and what to do in the project. They describe how things should work and backs up your claims as to why it matters to solve these issues.

problem statement UX

What Is Needed to Make a Good Problem Statement?

To write a persuasive problem statement, you must take notice of some significant factors. Four parts must be included in your problem statement:

Ideal

The first significant factor in a good problem statement is the description of the ideal situation of the phenomenon that you are discussing. In this part, you must explain things that must be handled or secured in the problem.

Reality

Then move to the reality part. Here you write the fundamental truth obtained from your research. It will highlight the negative and positive aspects of your problem at hand. You can also explain what is lacking in your goal or idea that caused this problem.

Consequence

The third part is to justify the importance of a problem statement solution by identifying the consequences of the failure to solve it. What are the shortcomings of your UX causing you to move away from your goal?

Proposal

The last and final step is to present a proposal. This proposal contains possible solutions for the problem. These solutions are not just assumptions but are made by analyzing customer and stakeholder feedback.

After taking care of all these steps, you can move on further, analyzing the feasibility of each solution through communication among the team and deciding an explicit action that has to be taken.

What are the benefits of Problem Statements?

You might think that if you use methods like Agile UX in your design, you will not need to worry about problem statement UX. But that is not true. Problem statements are crucial in the initial stages of a UX design project.

Here is a list of some benefits which problem statements provide:

  • They identify and frame the problem to be solved.
  • It sums up the user pain point in a single line or two.
  • They can be used to set benchmarks for success.
  • Problem statement in UX serves as a tool for communication.
  • It is crucial in the context of improving a company’s performance.
  • It re-evaluates the conclusion of your project.
  • Problem Statements tell you the reality of user experience.
  • They make you aware of the consequences of neglecting users’ issues.
  • You can identify your user expectations with the design
  • Sometimes your users themselves provide you with the solution to the problem.
problem statement UX

Problem Statement Examples in UX

Now, look at UX design problem examples to help you better understand what kinds of problems you can face in your design journey.

  1. Your customers are annoyed by your customer service representatives taking a long time to ask them questions about issues related to your services.
  2. Parents need an easily accessible one-stop solution to monitor their child’s internet searches without having to browse through the internet.
  3. It is difficult for old people to share the content of your website. They need a button for sharing that is easy to navigate.
  4. Office workers need an app reminding them to take breaks during long working hours, so they don’t get tired and upset about working for long.
  5. Users need a platform that is less cluttered and more responsive for their e-commerce business.
problem statement UX

Conclusion

Problem statement UX approach is the best method to identify UX problems and work on solving them. This approach was made by keeping in mind the frequently changing UX trends. It is a standard method of problem recognition that is very important in any UX design process.

Expert UX specialists know how to use the problem statement UX method reflected in their design techniques. Make sure to choose a UX designer who understands the importance of problem statements and is well-skilled in using this method. You should also be aware of problem statements in the UX process to add your feedback. We hope this blog helped you understand this concept and you will be able to apply it in the future.

FAQs

How to Frame Design-Related Problem Statements?

To frame a design-related problem statement, you need to ask the 4 Ws. Who is affected by your problems? What is the problem they are struggling with? Where is the problem happening? Why does it matter to solve this problem?

What Are User Personas in UX?

In the UX design process, UX personas depict a fictional character as a representation of your target user. They are a valuable tool that helps you better understand your customer’s perceptions and issues with your design.

What Is a Problem Statement UX Case Study?

A UX case study involves a problem statement in its introduction and shows a possible scenario where no answer is provided on how to solve that problem statement.

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