‘Framing’ is the ability to recognise the type of issue in hand and structure it in a way that allows you to try alternative ideas to arrive at a solution. If one idea doesn’t work, try another. Framing is all about applying different approaches to describe the problem and applying potential solutions in different ways – it often starts with the question ‘what if…?’.
This framing technique works where there is a clear sense of what needs to be achieved. It means thinking about:
Thinking like a designer is an excellent way to think about the future. While you retain a view of the value you want to achieve, during exploratory phases this means defining clearly what the real nature of the underlying problem is. Only once this is agreed does it make sense to move onto alternative possible solutions.
For each possible solution, a sense check is used to demonstrate how each different frame may impact on the desired outcome. The UK Design Council has formalised this in its ‘double diamond’ process (Figure 4), which identifies four distinct phases: discover, define, develop and deliver.
Think of a problem or irritation you are aware of – or else simply try to create something for fun. Now watch the detailed approach to brainstorming and come up with as many ideas as you can to solve your problem or create something.
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