The design process consists of defining a problem we have identified, exploring different alternatives for solving it, and choosing a plan to follow.
This process is repeated until we find the best solution.
But before we can solve a problem, we have to find & define a problem. This is the first step in the design process.
Defining a problem allows you to better describe its nature precisely, which allows gives you a higher chance in solving it.
To fully define a problem, ask yourself the six ws: who, what, where, when, why, and how. Use your interpretation of the problem to better understand how you might develop a solution.
*Figure 5-1 from Aliverti, Maietta, and Di Justo (2015), The Maker's Manual: A Pracitical Guide to the New Industrial Revolution.
To gather background information about your topic
Talk to your client! What information do they have about the problem?