Reframe A Question to Get Better Solutions

An eye-opener lesson by the book Creative Confidence on reframing a question to get better solutions.

Example: doctors felt it tiring to use existing dissection tools for sinus surgery, instead of asking “How can we make the tool lighter”, ask “How might we make the surgical tool more comfortable in the hand during long procedures?” — the new question removes the assumption “doctors get tired because the tools are too heavy”, and opens up the solution possibilities.

The book introduces a few ways to reframe questions to humanize it, think more about what makes it a better user experience and addresses human needs:

  1. Step back from obvious solutions. Instead of using mouse traps, think about what can help to make a mouse-free environment.
  2. Alter focus or point of view, rethink from a different stakeholder’s perspective. If you are a parent, think from a kid’s perspective.
  3. Uncover the real issue. Find the “why” behind what people do.
  4. Look for ways to bypass mental resistance or blocks.
  5. Think about the opposite. Instead of trying hard to
  6. Be willing to be challenged, and build up ideas with others.

I like what Rolf Faste says about this: “If a problem is not worth solving, it’s not worth solving well.” Reframe the question, focus on the right problems to solve.

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