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  • Writer's pictureSuhani Bafila

How Might We: The Swiss Army Knife of Design Thinking

How Might We
How Might We

"How Might We: The Swiss Army Knife of Design Thinking"

In the realm of design thinking, there exists a versatile and indispensable tool that has the power to ignite creativity, empathy, and problem-solving prowess: the "How Might We" (HMW) question. This deceptively simple phrase serves as a beacon, guiding innovators, designers, and entrepreneurs on their quest to uncover meaningful solutions. In this blog, we will explore the "How Might We" tool, its significance in design thinking, and how it empowers teams to tackle complex challenges with ingenuity and effectiveness.

Unraveling the "How Might We" Framework

The "How Might We" framework is an essential part of the ideation stage in design thinking. It involves rephrasing a problem or challenge into an open-ended question that encourages innovative thinking. The structure of the “How Might We” question consists of three key components:

- "How" prompts action and solution-seeking.

- "Might" suggests that various possibilities are on the table, fostering divergent thinking.

- "We" implies a collaborative approach, emphasizing teamwork and collective brainstorming.

By combining these elements, the “How Might We” question reframes the problem as an opportunity, a puzzle awaiting a creative solution.

 The Power of Reframing

At its core, the "How Might We" tool is a reframing device. When faced with complex issues, it compels us to step back and view the challenge from fresh perspectives. Instead of being bogged down by constraints, the “How Might We” question enables us to see possibilities within those limitations. It fuels a growth mindset, where obstacles become springboards for innovation.

By altering the context of the problem, the "How Might We” question opens up new avenues for exploration, leading to novel solutions that might have remained hidden otherwise.

 Nurturing Empathy and User-Centric Solutions

One of the key principles of design thinking is empathy - understanding the needs, desires, and pain points of the end-users. The "How Might We" question plays a crucial role in this aspect, as it redirects the focus towards the user's perspective.

By incorporating the user's voice into the HMW question, we cultivate a human-centric approach to problem-solving. This empathy-driven method ensures that the solutions we create are meaningful, relevant, and resonate with the target audience.

 Embracing Creativity and Ideation

Design thinking thrives on creativity and ideation, and the "How Might We" tool serves as a catalyst for both. As we pose the HMW question, it ignites a brainstorming process that encourages a diverse range of ideas. Participants are free to explore unconventional concepts and think beyond the obvious.

The beauty of the  "How Might We" question lies in its ability to spark creativity in everyone involved, creating an atmosphere where innovative ideas flow freely.

 Experimentation and Iteration

Once the  "How Might We" question generates a pool of potential solutions, design thinkers embark on prototyping and testing. The iterative process enables the team to gather valuable feedback from real-world scenarios, refining and enhancing the solution until it meets the user's needs effectively.

The  HMW tool fosters an attitude of continuous improvement and a willingness to learn from failures, making it an indispensable asset in the design thinking toolkit.

How Might We Framework
How Might We Framework


In the dynamic landscape of design thinking, the "How Might We" tool stands as a versatile Swiss Army knife - an all-purpose instrument capable of reframing challenges, driving empathy, nurturing creativity, and promoting experimentation. As design thinkers embrace the power of the HMW question, they unlock the door to a world of innovative possibilities.

The HMW question empowers teams to create human-centric solutions that resonate deeply with end-users, ultimately making a positive impact on society. So, the next time you face a complex problem, remember the transformative potential of "How Might We" - the magical words that unlock the true essence of design thinking.


1- What is a how might we statement?

A "How Might We" (HMW) statement is a concise, open-ended question used in design thinking to reframe challenges as opportunities for creative solutions. It follows the format "How might we [action] to [achieve a specific goal], fostering collaboration and innovative thinking among teams.

2-How might we design thinking activity?

Design thinking activity involves defining a challenge, empathizing with users, creating "How Might We" statements, brainstorming ideas, prototyping, testing with users, iterating, and implementing the chosen solution(s) in a collaborative and user-centric manner.

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