How might we

How might we (HMW) is an exercise commonly used during design thinking workshops. Instead of going for the obvious solution, it helps workshop participants think creatively about solving challenges.

Updated on November 13th, 2022


As a result, the creative solution you come up with is likely better and more innovative than the obvious solution.

How does how might we work?

For most participants, it is challenging to think creatively about solving a problem. This is further enforced if stakeholders already have a solution in mind.

The how-might-we exercise is an excellent way to tackle these issues. You use it to help your participants think of many creative solutions early on so that you can use that creative energy during the remainder of the workshop.

The how-might-we exercise is mainly used in the early to mid stages of a design thinking workshop.

An example

Let's say you want to decrease the loading times of your sign-up flow. Your stakeholders might think of apparent solutions like adding servers to increase the performance of your apps. However, this is too expensive and, therefore, not the answer you're looking for.

During your workshop, you can start by giving away one how might we statement. That helps your participants understand what you're looking for.

For example, how might we make the loading times seem shorter for our users? This is a good starting point.

What you can do after that is give your participants five minutes to come up with five extra how might we statements. Other exercises, like Crazy 8's, also help think of additional how-might-we statements.

Once you're done, let them present their statements and do a dot vote. Congratulations! You now have a list of how-might-we statements sorted based on the votes of your participants.

Why use a how might we statement?

The main reason to use a how might we statement is to help you think of different ways to solve a problem.

Instead of directly accepting the obvious solution, how-might-we statements help you think of different solutions that might turn out to be better than the obvious solution.

Is how-might-we a problem statement?

No, how-might-we statements are not problem statements. Problem statements are short descriptions of a problem. You can use UX to formulate these, but they are not the same. Instead, how-might-we statements are used at the start of a process to solve a problem statement.

Useful resources

Learn About the “How Might We” Framework - Medium



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