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Problem Statement Template

Define a clearly articulated problem statement

Problem Statement Template in the MURAL dashboard
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About the MURAL Problem Statement Template

The MURAL Problem Statement Template, created by the Design Sprint Academy, helps you to better define the problem you are solving for your customers based on a deeper understanding of their needs.

The template is divided into two parts: The first section is built to collect your ideas across four categories:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What are the problems they face?
  • Where/when are they facing those problems?
  • Why is it important to solve those problems?

Once you’ve conducted this part of the exercise, it’s time to craft your problem statement. Use the feedback you’ve gathered and fill in each prompt in the second section of the template as clearly and concisely as possible to create your problem statement.

What is a problem statement?

A problem statement is a brief description of a problem that needs to be solved. It should be specific and focused, and it should state the problem that needs to be solved without going into too much detail. A problem statement should be no more than a few sentences long.

Creating a problem statement is part of Design Thinking methodology, which emphasizes understanding and empathy for your customers so that you can create experiences that address their needs.

The first step in creating a problem statement should be to conduct user research. This gives you direct feedback from your customers that keeps guesswork out of your process and informs your framing of the problems facing your users at every stage.

Why should you create a problem statement?

Creating a problem statement is an important step in the process of solving real-world problems. By carefully considering the problems your customers face, you gain a greater understanding of context. When you create a problem statement, it allows you to gather and organize your feedback into clear categories, building the foundations for actionable next steps.

How to use the problem statement template

To use the template, gather all stakeholders together and fill in the information for each section. The sections of the problem statement template are:

  • Who: First, you need to include information about the people or organizations affected by the problem, and you can describe the problem itself.
  • What: Next, state the problem that needs to be solved. Be as specific as possible.
  • Where/when: This is where you provide context for the problem. How is it affecting the user in that context? What proof do we have that this is happening?
  • Why: Now, you have to answer, ‘so, what?’ It’s time to explain what you hope to achieve by solving the problem.

Once you have filled out all of the sections of the template, you will have a clear and concise problem statement that you can use to guide your work.

How to create a Problem Statement Template

Problem Statement Template Frequently Asked Questions

What are the five steps in creating a problem statement?

Why is it important to create a problem statement?