“How Might We” a method to collect thoughts and questions on sticky notes to work on defining a design challenge. A method which can be used at different points in your challenge and will bring some questions and ideas to your board which can be used to develop and define the upcoming challenge.

When and How to use it

ideally you use the method in your design team when having expert speeches and interviews. Also possible to use the method when observing the daily work of your users. So how does it work. You need your design team and a bunch of sticky notes. Everyone will get a black marker and the sticky notes. For our example we will take an expert interview informing us about the current work and giving insights about the discovered problem.

How to do it

We are in an interview situation. The expert has arrived and our team is in as well. One of them will do the interview the others will collect questions and thoughts. At the beginning everyone will write the HMW on the upper right corner. Then the interview starts. During the interview at every point when you hear something interesting you will take the thought, transform it into a “how might we” question and put in on a sticky note. “How might we get the best data?” how might we visualize the data best?”

This is a bit irritating at the beginning for the team but after your have your first note it will get up and running very quick and you will collect more and more questions.

After the interview you should end up with a lot of sticky notes bringing a large amount of ideas to you Bord.



Next steps

Put all notes on a whiteboard. Do not sort it yet. Collect everything you have in a large collection. If every note is on the board your team will have a first look what they have. Plan a session for a quick check on the board.

After that you start to sort the notes into groups. Similarities and equal notes are put together. The team should then define topics to name all groups.

What to do with the groups will be covert in the next article about decision taking in HMW method. How to end up with a good question to define your design challenge.


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