Gear light bulb

Q2. What's Your Problem? Step 3

15. Design Thinking
The Design Thinking Process Image with Define highlighted


step 3 Page: Define Mode

You can use the understanding of users and their needs to help you define the problem that you will work in in this design thinking process. Defining the problem with a problem statement will give you a clear goal to create ideas and solutions.

PROBLEM STATEMENT: You will be using a sentence stem (shown below) where you will fill in the name of the user, what their need is, and what the end goal is. This is a helpful way to define your problem statement:

Image of sentence stem Users ___Need(s) ___sothat/because___ End goal.

Example: For Ralph's scenario from the 5-chairs activity the problem statement might read like the following statement:

Ralph (user), needs to be more comfortable sitting at school and have a way to better store and organize his school supplies (needs), so that he can focus on learning (end goal).

Defining Criteria and Constraints

To create a "best" solution to the problem you select you will be prompted to identify criteria and constraints. Criteria are the desired standards your design should meet, while constraints are the limits or restrictions that must be followed in the design.

An example of criteria and constraints for Ralph’s chair is provided.

Criteria and Constraints Table

Criteria Constraints

comfortable chair and spaces to organize his supplies

must have room for a large backpack


MITECS  Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

3. Knowledge Constructor
c. Curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts or solving authentic problems
d. Build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions

7. Global Collaborator
d. Students explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to work with others to investigate solutions