Workshop Exercises: Ideate

How Might We

Reframe insights and pain points into a solvable question

Illustration of How Might We
Run a How Might We play

Timing: Discovery

Run time
15 minutes

Group size
1-12

Why: Help teams shift from focusing on problems to exploring possibilities and brainstorming creative solutions

When: Useful for reframing challenges and generating ideas in ideation- or problem-solving sessions

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

Reserve your deck!

Instructions for running this play

  1. Break down a larger design challenge into smaller insights or problems to solve.
  2. Explain how to write a How Might We… (HMW) question: by rephrasing a problem or insight as a question asking one or more solutions.

    Example:
    • Problem: Users complete the wrong tax form
    • Question: HMW make users feel confident they are filing their taxes correctly?

  3. Try rephrasing each problem or insight as questions by adding “How might we…” at the beginning, writing only one HMW idea or opportunity per sticky note
  4. Consider sorting and prioritizing HMW notes with Affinity Mapping and Dot Voting.
  5. Use ideation exercises such as Crazy Eights, Round Robin, Figure Storming, or even Reverse Brainstorming (convert back to problems) to generate ideas for solving your problems.

Tips to perfect this play

Master and adapt the play to fit your context and needs.

Tip: Broaden your search

Ask yourself whether your "How Might We"-question allows for a variety of solutions. If it doesn't, broaden it.

Tip: Quantity is good

If your insights or problems suggest several How Might We... questions, that is great.

Tip: HMW... is short for...

Instead of writing out "How Might We" on every generated sticky note, use the acronym HMW

Tip

Aim for quantity over perfection

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

Reserve your deck!

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Ice Breakers

Relieve initial group awkwardness and establish a safe space

Educate

Broaden knowledge or insight regarding the behavior or situation to inform decisions.

Demonstrate

Show practical examples or models of the desired behavior for clear guidance.

Alert

Highlight current actions and their reasons, bringing unconscious habits to awareness.

Train

Develop necessary skills and competencies to enable effective action.

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