How might we?


Due to desk and field research on sensory overload we shared our findings on the whiteboard. I focussed my research on the preventing and helping part. Everyone had a different kind of subject on sensory overload. After discussing our knowledge, we came up with some questions that are still unclear. The planning is to ask some of these questions to experts or patients and some of them can be done by desk research.



During the Human Centered Design class, the teacher told us to come up with ‘How might we’ questions. These will be helpful for the start of a brainstorming session.


Create ‘How might we’ (HMW) questions from the insights we’ve got from the research on sensory overload and start a brainstorm to come up with ideas to answer these questions.


To start, I shared my information that I’ve received from the research. We all put our insights with post its on the whiteboard and from there on we came up with some questions that were still unanswered. These questions are pointed at the patients and experts on sensory overload. From the knowledge we’ve already got, we came up with HMW questions. Because we’re targeting office employees, these were the most interesting questions to answer:

  1. How might we measure symptoms – of sensory overload – when sitting behind a desk?
  2. How might we measure how people experience sensory overload?
  3. How might we use gamification to overcome sensory overload?
  4. How might we bring (supply to people) breaks in a different way?

On these questions we started brainstorming and came up with a whole lot of different ideas. After the brainstorming session was done, the combining of ideas started.


By brainstorming on the HMW questions, it became clear that a kind of division occurred. There were ideas for measuring and solutions on sensory overload in an office. As a result, I was highly in favour of office tools (e.g. a pen, keyboard, mouse) combined with measurement sensors processed in them. In my opinion, it was a better idea to leave an employee unconscious about being measured on sensory overload. From here on, we detailed our ideas in a concept and worked our way to the first demo.


It was my first time working with HMW questions, but these are definitely coming back in future projects. When there’s a concrete question formulated, the brainstorming sessions are going a lot more fluently. I came up with more optimistic ideas, but most important all within the scope. In previous experiences, there were too much ideas off topic.