Constructing Need Statements




After filtering through the problem areas and narrowing down on a set of observed and verified problems, we moved on to constructing Need Statements.
Dr Jha
We have a list of observations which you have noted during immersion and have done background research on same. Through research you now have some idea about the kind of problem you might be trying to solve with each observation. Now we need to put these in a single line statement which will summarise the nature of the problem.

These statements are called need statements.

There are three main parts of any need statement.
  1. What is the problem you are trying to address?
  2. Who is your target user?
  3. How will you measure the outcome of intervention?

(Use the mnemonic WOW!)

For example here’s a need statement:
A way to measure (what) anthropometric dimensions of neonates (whom) in order to minimize inaccuracies in the current measurement methods (success measure).

A needs statement should be broad enough to provide scope for design. But it also should be precise enough to avoid addressing a vague problem. 

It is also very critical to analyse every word in your need statement as the solution will greatly depend on the same.
For example, if in the need statement above, we had used the word record instead of measure (A way to record(what)....) it would point the design to a whole new direction of ‘ recording solutions’ as opposed to ‘measuring solutions’.

To summarise, a need statement should convey your approach and understanding of a problem to third person in a compact and easy to understand manner.

.....from the notebook of by Aniket Kulkarni