Harry posted an interesting post on "90 percent of everything" about not
rushing to design solutions too quickly. Designers should cover the design
space with divergent approaches first and identify proper alternatives
before converging on an idea. I think I've heard others say as well the same
about iterative design, and the ability of successful designs only to evolve
if the pool of ideas is rich and diverse. The idea is not exactly
revolutionary but stirs a basic design question.
The question which I am wondering about then is how do we know how many
alternatives are enough? How do we know we have enough sketches,
alternatives or concepts before we begin choosing a satisfising solution.
Harry also pointed me to wiki entry on wicked problems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_problem, where it says that it's not
possible to measure the design space. "Wicked problems do not have an
enumerable (or an exhaustively describable) set of potential solutions, nor
is there a well-described set of permissible operations that may be
incorporated into the plan." So what are we left with here?