In this exercise, you will perform field research, draw insights, and describe a problem in the form of a question.


  1. Observe and make note of the local designed environment. Keep a small notebook with you as you move through your day (I recommend Field Notes or Moleskine) and write down or sketch out anything that feels poorly designed, broken, non-functional, ill-considered, potentially harmful, or something that could be better. Remember to also record your own personal feelings, state of mind, physical limitations or conditions, and other information that can help describe your negative experience and why it may have occured.
  2. Place your observation documentation into a Research Folder: Document your experiences from step 1 with photos, short videos, sketches, diagrams, schematics, notes, and/or drawings.
  3. Choose one experience to focus on from your notes.
  4. Look at the following design thinking exercises. Meet with your canvas group and work through these activities for each person’s experience. Each person should come away with a set of insights and one HMW question: Canvas groups
  5. Doc: In a MS word document named: exercise1-doc-YOURNAME.doc Each person must have their own document.
    • Name
    • Date
    • Part 1. Insights
    • Part 2. How Might We question (Use the question formula privided)
  6. Upload your Research Folder and Doc to submission dropbox
  7. Ensure you’ve included everything properly. Failure to ensure that you’ve uploaded the file will result in your exercise being graded according the grading criteria.

Learning Resources

Design Thinking

  1. Insights
  2. How Might

Developing a ‘How Might We…’ question

  1. Use the following pattern for creating the sentence: How might we ( positive action ) ( a description of specific challenge ) ( a specific context ) ?
  2. Example: How might we ( relieve the stress of social interaction from ) ( a person who has trouble feeling comfortable in groups ) ( when they socialize with friends )?


Your grade will be assessed according to the Exercise Grading Criteria.