The Problem Solver

It doesn’t matter how technically brilliant a product is, if a non technical person can’t use it, it will probably fail.  Good product design is critical.  It’s no wonder the demand for User Experience (UX) Designers has exploded in the last decade.  The best websites and apps all put the experience of the user first as part of developing their products.

It’s no surprise that UX designers have great strategies and tools for understanding problems.  One of my favourite things a good UX designer employs is the customer journey map.  They will develop this map by recording a customer’s experience with a product.  Usually they ask a customer to try to do something with the product while capturing what actually happens.  The most helpful feedback of this process is recording how the customer feels as they work through the task.

The basic framework looks like this:

Intention -> Action -> Result -> Reaction

The cool thing about this framework is you can apply it to many problems, not just software design.  The next time you are trying to work through a problem, this is a great way to break it down into smaller pieces.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take a piece of paper and split it into 4 columns
  2. In the first column, write down what you are intending to accomplish
  3. In your attempt to accomplish that thing, record in the second column all the individual actions you take
  4. Next to each action in the third column record what the result was
  5. In the fourth column record how you felt about it

At the end of your attempt it’s easy to see the pain points.  Next you can focus on fixing one small thing.  This iterative approach to solving problems helps take your actual attempts and break it down into more useful pieces.

Happy problem solving!