21 Sep 2022 Frank Spillers


Problem space discovery leads to better Problem Framing

Problem space discovery leads to better Problem Framing

Problem space discovery leads to better problem framing

One of the biggest contributions UX makes to product management efforts is problem framing or how to frame the right problem for users and the business. Many stakeholders mistake asking UX designers to create mock-ups or visuals before vetting business requirements or ideas past the “evidence filter” of user behavior (field study research).  By starting with solutions, we give them credibility and power that they should not have until they are: either tested with users, or based on user constraints and opportunities found in their current problem-solving behaviors and expectations. Instead, we must ‘deep dive’ into a better understanding of the user’s ‘problem space’ and remove unknowns, ambiguities, biases, and risks.

Learn Problem framing and Problem Space discovery for Agile in this Masterclass

OCTOBER 27th 2022 8:00AM PDT; 11:00AM EDT; 4:00PM BST; 5:00 PM CET; 8:30 PM IST

2.5 hours

  • Cost: Buy this Problem Space Discovery course and get it live + the recording for only $100** USD:
  • Free for UX Inner Circle Members–Join now, cancel anytime

Understanding the problem space leads to better Agile UX

Poorly understanding the “problem space” means you are guessing or relying on your internal assumptions, hunches, and brainstorms. Or worse, basing decisions on the wrong kind of research (yeah, focus groups and surveys). UX as a field de-risks this very dangerous approach which relies on trusting yourself or internal decision-making unbalanced with a view from the user’s world. Problem spaces are rich with context to understand how your features or design proposals will meet actual user needs, with the highest degree of emotional value (differentiation) delivered to users. Regularly mapping the problem space helps you build context intelligence within your team. Products and services that perform start with an understanding of context of use (where, when, how, and why) of how your features, functionality, or service will be used. Framing the problem informed by context is the starting point to ROI-based UX.

What we’ll cover- problem framing, how to run a problem space discovery workshop and more!

In this Masterclass, we will cover problem space discovery in an Agile context including how to create more accurate MVP’s on an ongoing basis. We will start with problem framing and learn to create problem statements. In this Masterclass, you will also learn how to run a Problem Space Discovery workshop to help guide your organization toward smarter product decision-making.

Why is a Problem Space Discovery workshop valuable?

A problem space discovery workshop brings together your insights obtained from observing user behavior- their ‘pains and their gains’. The workshop helps you define your MDP (minimum desirable product). Think of the MDP as a user-defined value proposition. In the two-sided UX quest for usability (Do they find it easy to use?) and desirability (Do they even need it?), desirability wins. Why? Because ease of use does not matter if users do not need or want your features or functionality.

Understanding your ‘problem space’ leads to more precise problem-framing. Correctly framing your problem is critical to act on insights from your discovery space. In this workshop, you will learn how Problem Framing can be used to de-risk your product decision-making. The goal of the problem space workshop is to learn to do better problem framing and go after the right features, functionality, and experiences your customers really need to make them and you more successful.

Topics we will cover in this Masterclass:

  • Framing the ‘right problem’ in UX
  • Making the business case for Problem space discovery
  • Strategies for managing your stakeholders who jump to solutions without discovery
  • Identify bias in framing and product decision-making
  • Introducing Qualitative Research to teams new to UX Research
  • Doing the right kind of research to identify ‘right problems’ and understand problem spaces
  • How to craft compelling Problem Statements
  • Getting Agile teams to practice with problem-informed MVP
  • ‘Continuous Discovery’ hacks for Agile
  • How to run a Problem Space Discovery workshop

About UX Inner Circle Workshops:

These workshops are live events with an informal presentation by Frank Spillers and group activities and discussions, with a more hands-on experience to learning the material presented. Online workshops are included as part of your UX Inner Circle membership. They allow a deep study of UX topics, with insights drawn from process best practices and case studies from Frank Spillers two decades in the field.


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Members: FREE…join the UX Inner Circle to get this and enjoy access to $10,385 worth of value- recording trainings from 20 years of Frank Spillers’ work.

Buy this Problem Space Discovery course and get it live + the recording for only $100** USD:

Why Join?

The UX Inner Circle is a professional learning community with a program of monthly events for UX researchers and designers, managers, and directors practicing UX and Service Design. We are a small group of 50+ UX and Service Designers, Directors, and Researchers currently 100% working in UX. Attendees come from orgs like Harvard, Google, IBM, Accenture, Deloitte, Capital One, US Bank, healthcare, government, and non-profits. So why join?

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About the Author

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Frank Spillers

Founder - UX Inner Circle

Frank Spillers, MS, founded the UX Inner Circle to share his knowledge and skills with his students from the Interaction Design Foundation where he has provided select trainings for the past 8 years. He leads UX and Service Design consulting at Experience Dynamics, an award-winning consultancy. He works with the world’s leading brands to deliver cutting-edge strategy for products, services, and experiences. Starting out in the mid-’90s in social VR, Frank has consulted on 600 UX projects including enterprise web applications, nonprofits, government and more. He’s an Inclusive Design evangelist, and expert in Accessibility, Emotion Design, VR/AR, Cross-cultural Design and UX Management. Frank brings 25 years of experience as a Sr. UX Director and Service Design leader. He has lifted conversion rates by 88% and enhanced revenue by 300% for firms like Nike, Intel, Microsoft, the City of New York, Global Disability Rights Now!, Four Seasons, Capital One, the World Bank, Women Enabled International, and many more.

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