10 Traits of a wicked problem
- They do not have a definitive formulation.
- They do not have a “stopping rule.” In other words, these problems lack an inherent logic that signals when they are solved.
- Their solutions are not true or false, only good or bad.
- There is no way to test the solution to a wicked problem.
- They cannot be studied through trial and error. Their solutions are irreversible, so as Rittel and Webber put it, “every trial counts.”
- There is no end to the number of solutions or approaches to a wicked problem.
- All wicked problems are essentially unique.
- Wicked problems can always be described as the symptom of other problems.
- The way a wicked problem is described determines its possible solutions.
- Planners, that is those who present solutions to these problems, have no right to be wrong. Unlike mathematicians, “planners are liable for the consequences of the solutions they generate; the effects can matter a great deal to the people who are touched by those actions.”
From UI and UX Design | Wicked Problems | Codecademy