This week in class we learned about problem statements. As previously mentioned, this is one of the very first steps in design thinking. In order to form a proper problem statement we have to put ourselves in the user’s shoes. The best way to do this is by creating Point of View or POV statements.
Elements of POV Statements
In a previous blog post I referred to the fact that finding a problem is one of the first steps in the design thinking process. When talking to a company or a user, many issues may be discussed. It is important to find a problem that is broad enough to allow the flow of new ideas and insights, but also narrow enough to keep ideas manageable. Therefore, it is important to find the right problem to incorporate into your problem statement.
According to Rikke Friis Dam and Yu Siang Teo, there are three elements that need to be combined when forming your problem statement: user, need, and insight. From there, we can take those three elements and form them into a sentence that looks like this…
User (a descriptive group of users)______ needs (verb)___ because (insight from research)______ (Dam, Friss Rikke and Teo, Siang Yu)
Incorporating POV Statements into an App Project
With these elements in mind, our assignment this week was to create Point of View Statements for three different commonly used apps. For my project I wanted to focus on a few popular game apps that I have downloaded on my phone and that I play regularly: Candy Crush Saga developed by King, Trivia Crack developed by Etermax, and Words with Friends developed by Zynga.
In order to compile any problem statement, it is important to first gather data. I went to each game’s review page on Google Play (yes, I am a droid user) and picked out three positive reviews, three negative reviews and three reviews that would offer suggestions to the developer.
After reading through many reviews, I was able to find recurring user needs that seemed to be prevalent for each game.
For instance, when reading through reviews for Trivia Crack, I kept seeing two elements that users repeatedly asked for: editing to the phrasing of questions and having a variety of trivia topics.
Being a trivia fan (and from prior experience working as a research assistant for trivia game show Who Wants to be A Millionaire?), I could relate to both needs. The phrasing of a question is important because it proves that one answer is correct and the others are wrong. Therefore, if the phrasing is not properly stated, it can get confusing as many other options could also be correct.
Just as important is having a good variety of topics. Users pointed to a desire to increase their knowledge and raise their IQ. In order to do that, they wanted to be well rounded in a variety of topics.
Therefore, when crafting a few POV statements I took the same “user___ needs___ because___” statement and came up with these two ideas:
- Trivia gamers need questions with a good phrasing because questions can be confusing without proper diction.
- Trivia gamers need a variety of topics because they want to be knowledgeable in a range of different categories.
A full copy of the POV Statements project can be found below.
From participating in this project, my research became much more user-centered. I love gathering data and creating these Point of View statements allowed me a way combine my regular findings into a comprehensive experience that related to users.
Dam, Rikke Friis, and Yu Siang Teo. “Stage 2 in the Design Thinking Process: Define the Problem and Interpret the Results.” The Interaction Design Foundation, 2019, Retrieved from http://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/stage-2-in-the-design-thinking-process-define-the-problem-and-interpret-the-results.