Design Challenge Statement

Create a challenge that inspires the team

Framing the proper challenge is key to getting the team started on the right foot – helping them to arrive at a desirable solution at the end of their project effort.



Framing the problem as a Design Challenge Statement helps the team orient themselves to the issue at hand. This step in the Design process is all about turning problems into opportunities.


The Design Challenge Statement starts as a broadly scoped problem statement that is refined through a series of exploratory questions to arrive at a specific challenge that the team hopes to solve. The Challenge Statement should align the problem with the organization’s goals and inspire the team to want to solve the problem.

design challenge statement

In many ways, the Challenge Statement will serve as the team’s call to action. It is a blend of the business’s needs and the customer’s needs. Pinpointing a potentially high-impact area, that if addressed could create a competitive advantage and strategic differentiation for the organization.

The Challenge Statement is a critical input into who needs to be on the team. But going beyond that, the Challenge Statement informs the team’s scope and what success looks like. To support the team formation efforts and to unite the team around a common goal, it is important that the Challenge Statement be one that:
  • Clarifies the team’s focus
  • Frames the problem as a problem statement. Describing the who, when/where, why, what, and how of the problem.
  • Inspires and motivates the team.
  • Creates a vision for what success looks like.
design challenge statement

Download the Free "Design Challenge Statement" Template (PDF)

Purchase the template to customize for your own organization

All of our tools and templates are available in Word or PowerPoint format to allow organizations to purchase and customize the templates to their brand standards.

The Design Challenge Statement is a key topic discussed in our Design Thinking Fundamentals course. To learn more about the course and the other Design Thinking tools, please visit our Design Thinking Fundamentals Certification Course.

The Design Thinking Course teaches a creative problem-solving that will give any professional an advantage in their industry or career.


  • Designers or Product Development professionals that are motivated to bring innovative new products and services to their business and customers.
  • Consultants who want to offer their clients a model for applying creative problem-solving to help address business challenges.
  • Human Resource professionals seeking to develop more human-centered solutions to support workforce members while driving higher levels of employee engagement.
  • Members of Leadership who are wishing to gain competitive advantage by differentiating their business’s products and services.
  • Individuals or Teams that are searching for new ways to solve complex problems by placing the customer’s needs at the center of their solutions.
Design Thinking Training, continuous improvement certifications

This course will help expose the learner to various design thinking tools and mental models – all with the emphasis on innovating through creative problem-solving.


Our objective is to provide the learner with practical tools for applying a versatile 3-step design thinking process within their organizations. Through this framework, the learner will be able to reframe problems from the customer’s perspective. With this perspective in mind, the learner will drive improvements around the customer experience using tools such as deep-dive interview, journey mapping, empathy mapping, and rapid prototyping.

Need help introducing use of Design Challenge Statement at your organization?

Schedule a 30 minute coach call today and let’s talk through the details. 

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