One of the most important tasks in any design/research endeavor is to concisely define the problem. In research and innovation, this the problem definition often takes the form of a research question, hypothesis or design argument. How do you create a good research question, hypothesis or design argument?
There are an infinite number of design arguments, but most of them take one of a few common patterns. It's much easier to create your research question if you know the patterns--what are these patterns?
Arguing from Sources explained that arguments tend to have 3 main milestones: seeing the issue, defining the problem, and solution. Recall also that problem definitions tend to take a few specific forms.
Researchers and innovators are always trying to build new knowledge so their problem definition is almost always a "goal-knowledge conflict" that is:
In some cases, especially early-stage exploratory work, the researcher/innovator has a question for which they have no clue what the answer might be, so in that case the research question will be very open ended. In other cases, the researcher/innovator has a guess about a solution to a practical problem and wants evidence about whether that guess is correct, so in that case the researcher/innovator is testing a hypothesis. If the hypothesis is about something designed, then the researcher/innovator is testing a design argument.
Note that if your research question is open-ended question, the answer will be some sort of assertion. Whereas if you propose a "hypothesis" the research question is an assertion and the the answer is either "yep that was right" or "nope, it wasn't" (and hopefully some more detailed explanation of why). For simplicity, we'll describe different forms of research question in "hypothesis" or assertion form--if you want to convert it to a more open-ended research question, just imagine the "jeopardy question" for that assertion.
These different forms cover an extremely wide variety of research questions. When formulating your question, try to figure out which kind of question it is and use these forms to make your question more precise.
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