Design Articles

Broadway Bridge by Nick Weinrauch

The biggest projects in Design, advertising campaigns, marketing plans or just great inventions started with a problem to be solved. Defining the problem well is critically important in the development of any world changing idea.

So, how to create a good definition?
We create definitions for every situation around us. All of those definitions can also be called “point of view” and have a big influence on how we make decisions and experience the world. Most of the time, we’re not even aware of our own point of view which is deeply rooted within us, a part of who we are. That said, the best way to activate your Imagination is to “reframe” your problem, questioning the most obvious answers.

Among the many ways to reframe a problem, one of the most efficient is to ask questions that start with “Why?”For example: if you ask me to build a bridge for you I can ask you, “Why do you need a bridge?” Your answer would likely be “to get to the other side”. Well, there are many ways to get to the other side. I can suggest to you a boat, a tunnel, a hot air balloon. But what is going to change when I ask you, “Why do you want to get to the other side?” This way I completely change our point of view, increasing substantially our range of options.

Reframing concepts or problems can be applied to any business at anywhere in the world. Here is an example extracted from the book inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity, written by Tina Seelig, professor at Stanford University.

“[…] the directors of the Tesco food-marketing business in South Korea set a goal to increase market share substantially and needed to find a creative way to do so. They looked at their customers and realized that their lives are so busy that it is actually quite stressful to find time to go to the store. So they decided to bring their store to the shoppers.

They completely reframed the shopping experience by taking photos of the food aisles and putting up full-sized images in the subway stations. People can literally shop while they wait for the train, using their smartphones to buy items via photos of the QR codes and paying by credit card. The items are then delivered to them when they get home. This new approach to shopping boosted Tesco’s sales significantly”.

“Every problem is an opportunity to create solution,
The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity” – Tina Seelig.

So, bring up the discussion, “What problems are you trying to solve?”

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