Luke Wroblewski posts about solving business problems with design, which gets at the how issue I raised here and here. The discussion of framing business problems with large scale visual narratives interests me for a variety of reasons, but mostly because we understand in narrative or story. As a meaning making method it's underused.
Designer Jamie Hoover, interviewed by Luke, answers a question about design and problem definition:
Designers have the ability to actually show the problem. Listening to someone drone on and on through the bullet points of yet another PowerPoint deck is hardly a compelling way to be convinced that change is in order. Actually designing the presentation of a problem will dramatically increase everyone's understanding and ability to work on that problem (my emphasis).
Visually uncovering the problem beats a mechanical presentation of an issue most of the time. Visuals, like photo journalism, aim to persuade or evangelize a point of view, which is another way of engaging people on an issue's merits. It's surprising to me how often I rely on an appeal to reason or logic instead.
Emotion is our creative engine. In problem definition it leads the imagination, in problem solving, the heart.