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Define and Ideate

Problem Statement

A problem statement succinctly describes what problem the design will attempt to solve. It is a standard output of the “define” stage of the design thinking process.


Brainstorming is an ideation method that involves imagining a wide array of ideas based on a central topic. Many different brainstorming techniques can be used to inspire people to generate ideas.

Ideate Stage

In the design thinking process, the goal of the ideate stage is to generate multiple potential solutions for a defined problem.


Sketching is used to create quick concepts and to iterate ideas in a low-fidelity format using pen and paper or a digital sketching app.

A sketch depicting three pages of a mobile app. Features of the app are explained in the margins. Annotations have been added to describe certain elements.

UX Case Studies

A case study is a start-to-finish walkthrough of the process of completing a project, telling the story of how a given design project was brought to fruition.

Strong Case Study Elements

A strong design case study might include a summary, goal or problem statement, team and role, tools used, timeline, approach or process, and results or findings. For each case study, think about the central points you want a reader to walk away with, rather than trying to summarize every single step. A case study should be easy to skim, and offer the most important information upfront.

Design Process Documentation

Documenting each step of the design process as it happens helps design teams work better together as a project progresses, makes it easy to reference past projects and processes and repurpose work or apply learnings, and makes it easy to build case studies down the line. Documentation could include a photo of a whiteboard or sticky notes from a planning session, scans of paper prototypes, and high-fidelity and low-fidelity design iterations from design software.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) Systems

A shared digital asset management (DAM) system helps design teams organize files and makes it easy to find different versions and documentation around existing assets.

Define Stage

In the design thinking process, the goal of the define stage is to identify a problem that the design will attempt to solve.


Iteration refers to producing different versions or variations of a possible solution. Iteration entails returning to ideas and making improvements based on new insights, feedback, or information.


Documentation refers to saving and organizing materials so they can be accessed in the future.

Concept Testing

Concept testing is a front-end evaluation method that evaluates the feasibility, appeal, and potential success of a product before developing a design further or releasing it to the public.

This can be seen as a hybrid of user research and market research, allowing users and stakeholders to influence the direction of a design from the beginning.

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