Design funnel

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A metaphor to depict the creative process, coined by Bill Buxton. The ideation process pivots on reducing the number of potential solutions to a problem progresively.

At the beginning, the solution space is wide and we need to explore it by trying radically different ideas. Whenever the design process makes progress, the solution space is shrunk and the focus changes to iterate upon a few ideas. By the end of the process, the design variables we can change are fewer.