15th July 2019
The Funnel and the Sieve
Simplifying by synthesis and reduction
When designing a product, or more simply finding a solution to a problem, the process of filtering is key. Once we have clear the scope that will lead our work, we look for solutions, these solutions will then be filtered to keep the most suitable and then merged in a Frankenstein solution that we can call the alpha model / concept of the final product. We can divide this filtering process in two main steps: the “FUNNEL” and the “SIEVE”.
When we are approaching a project and we look for solutions we should follow a process that goes from wide, general and blurred to narrow, specific and focused. This means simplifying by synthesis and reduction at every step of the process. Taking in exam the wide first will allow us to have an alpha solution that has taken into consideration many solutions, and so it has considered the alternatives, and all the key aspects that relate to the issue (using the research and having the scope in mind).
This kind of alpha solution (concept) has strong foundation (based on a deep understanding) to be implemented properly and so to succeed in solving the problem.
With our alpha version / concept (that in web design can be defined as wireframe) we go through a process simplification, reduction and refinement, using many testing methods. As much as in the process of sifting we take what is rough and unrefined and we filter it to get a consistent and refined product that will perform at its best. During this filtering we will pass many levels of refinement with updated versions of the product (this in web design can include, at final stages, mocking up the product).
When we arrive to a version of the product that solves with minimum effort the original issue (both on the user end and of the implementation end), that does have everything it needs but nothing superfluous, that is clear and easy to use, here we have our final version to test.
(this final version might need changes and improvement, and might also be changed to another solution after final testing, however because we have have done proper research and we have already considered possible alternative solutions and even more we have already tested and refined to arrive at this version, we have reduced failure chances to the minimum)