Hannah Knowles


April 28, 2023

Using a problem canvas to map scale in UX Research

We focus our research methods into understanding what's happening right now with your product, service or users so you can drive decisions for future users.

Before we even get into the grit of research methods, let's talk about scale.

Have you ever (or maybe you’ve seen it on the internet like an urban legend) purchased a product from eBay thinking “That’s cheap”. Only to find when it arrives, that you bought a Turkish rug for a doll’s house? All because you didn’t spend time looking over the details before clicking that infamous one click buy button.

Well, the same thing can happen here, not spending enough time understanding those finer details of your problem, can result in poor decision making. We need to frame the problem so we can add context and scale. I’m not going to sit here and write out theories of why you should do it. Essentially, ¾ of content available is selling you a theory and concept.

We are gonna try and give you a guide, it's a way of working, not the law. You can take it as little sections, or a full method, or not all! There's two things we love at WorkieTicket: planning and methods. Problem framing isn't just a single exercise, that’s your discovery phase overall. We are trying to understand our problem in different concepts, timeframes and scales.

However, we all need a good place to start. We always start with a 5 W’s problem canvas.

Just get everyone in the room to spend 2 mins on each section, so 10 mins in total alone.

Then come together as a group, repeat the exercise with everyone using their own boards as discussion points. Before you know it, you’ve framed your problem and know who, what, why, where, when at a high level.

"I'm going to be a quote on something here"

            1. Who?

           We want to map everything that we assume about users of our service. From places they physically and digitally socialise to their current problems.

            2. What?

            Run an assumption mapping exercise for this, we can hypothesise about what is causing that problem. Its good to look at your “problems” as             physical symptoms for something going on that we don’t know about yet

             3. Why?

            We run this exercise at the start and end of all of our “Knowledge” phases. We are trying to evaluate if the problem we started with is still a problem             worth solving.

             4. Where?

            Find problems both within and our of your service. Map where the problem exists with anlaytics/ This allows us to create research plans for deep             dive studies.

             5. When?

            Think about the context our users find themselves in when they encounter the problem. This is where we want rich data to help us figure out             scenarios for users.

At the end of this exercise you should have decent bones for a UX research plan (I hope) .

You need to understand scale so you can run a discovery that is reflective of the size of your problem. This is where we should focus time, attention and money.

You can waste time building solutions for problems that never existed. Like Albert Einstein said, if given an hour, he would spend 55 minutes on the problem and 5 on the solution. I’m far from a genius, but even this makes sense to me...

PSSST.....We have created out own template which you can access via Mural, link is below


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