We can’t accurately design a solution before correctly diagnosing the problem. And we can’t fully understand user needs without properly defining the user. Being able to accurately define the user is incumbent upon strong research to adequately “walk a mile in their shoes” so to speak. I achieve this understanding through a synthesis of both high and low level research techniques, like contextual interviews and lit reviews. From personas to empathy and journey mapping, to affinity boards and flowcharts.
Through research and experiential empathizing, I go on a needfinding mission to determine the greatest problem that the constraints of the project will allow me to build support for through my solution.
The problem statement
When you can accurately depict the user, and understand their needs, you can use that knowledge to craft a clear and concise problem statement to serve as the vision with which your team can organize around.