How might we?

A properly framed How might we (HMW) question doesn’t suggest a particular solution, but gives you the perfect frame for innovative and divergent thinking.

By defining insights and hypotheses, you’ve identified problem areas that might be challenges to the customers you’re creating a product or service for. A good How might we-question will allow you to ideate and solve your design challenge in a goal-oriented manner in which you keep a focus on your customers, their needs, and your insights about them.

We use the How might we-format because it suggests that a solution is possible and because they offer you the chance to answer the question in a variety of ways.

For example: “How might we create a service that will increase the knowledge about circular design for our large corporate customers?” or “How might we broaden our consulting offer to include private customers that are in a need of more space in a crowded environment”.

For the Tesla case, it could be: How might we build an electric car platform that can be used for various car models to decrease the cost of manufacturing and increase the speed to market?

Now, try re-framing your insights and hypotheses as How might we-questions to turn those problems into opportunities to create solutions for.

Time frame
30-60 Min
Group size
Core team


  • Prepare your hypothesis, problem statements, background info, pens, Post-its or similar digital solution


  1. Start by looking at the hypothesis / problem statement that you’ve created. Try rephrasing them as questions by adding “How might we” at the beginning. Examples: Translate your problem into a “How might we…” question (i.e.: instead of “Our product don’t sell well for young families.” write: “How might we increase sales for young families?”). Do this several times and come up with different HMWs
  2. The goal is to find opportunities for multiple, so if your insights suggest several How might we-questions that’s great.
  3. Now take a look at your How might we-question and ask yourself if it allows for a variety of solutions. If it doesn’t, broaden it. Your HMWs should generate a number of possible answers and will become a launchpad for your next ideation exercise (Design Studio for example) when you will create solutions.
  4. Finally, make sure that your HMWs aren’t too broad. It’s a tricky process but a good question should give you both a narrow enough frame to let you know where to start your ideation exercise (Design Studio for example), but also enough breadth to give you room to explore wild ideas. Try to prioritize one or a few to continue to work with.


  • Try different broad and narrow HMWs. Try to find one in the middle which frames the problem in a good way
  • Too broad: How might we create a product that saves the world
  • Too narrow: How might we create a product for 20-25 year old families who live in Göteborg who likes soccer.
  • Try not to include a specific solution into the HMW!
  • Also, see this video (0:50)