I Like, I Wish, How Might We?...
Giving and receiving feedback is a constant in design process. Here’s a structured way to build feedback into your group routine.
WHY use I Like, I Wish, How Might We (or IL/IW/HMW)
- Designers rely on personal communication and, particularly, feedback, during design work. You request feedback from users about your solution concepts, and you seek feedback from colleagues about design frameworks you are developing. Outside the project itself, fellow designers need to communicate how they are working together as a team. Feedback is best given with I-statements. For example, “I sometimes feel you don’t listen to me” instead of “You don’t listen to a word I say.”
- Specifically, “I like, I wish, How Might We” is a simple tool to encourage open feedback. The IL/IW/HMW method is almost too simple to write down, but too useful not to mention. The format can be used for groups as small as a pair and as large as 100. The simple structure helps encourage constructive feedback. You meet as a group and any person can express a “Like,” a “Wish,” or a “How Might We” succinctly as a headline. For example you might say one of the following:
“I like how we broke our team into pairs to work.”
“I wish we would have met to discuss our plan before the user testing.”
“What if we got new team members up to speed with a hack-a-thon?”
The third option “How Might We…” has variants of “I wonder…”, “What if…” and “How to…”
Use what works for your team.
HOW to use I Like, I Wish, How Might We
- You can collect IL/IW/HMWs from a whole group at once. In this case, it’s useful to have one person capture the feedback (type or write each headline). Listen to the feedback; don’t respond in the moment. Use your judgment as a team to decide if you later want to discuss certain topics that arise.
- Another way to use IL/IW/HMW is to ask each member of a team to come up with a certain number of statements in each category. Agree ahead of time whether these statements will be about the team in general, about a particular process step, or about particular people. For example:
Tammy: Let’s each do 1 “I like” and 1 “I wish” about ourselves, and then 1 “I like” and 1 “I wish” about the team.
Katie: Okay. I like that I’m on time. I wish I was a little more relaxed about process. As a team, I like that we’re having fun, but I wish we didn’t feel so lost in this stage. How might we clarify whether we’re headed in the right direction?
- One last point: Start using this technique even when things are working well. Don’t save it for when your workflow has gotten cramped or your frustrations have risen to fever pitch.