> *Synthesis: The process of drawing together concepts, ideas, objects and > other qualitative data in new configurations, or to create something > entirely new.* > > Combining multiple elements together to create a new, complex ‘thing’ is > what the technique of synthesis is all about. Similar in some respects to > aggregation, synthesis typically deals with non-numeric data. > > Synthesis is often undertaken towards the end of an analytic process as the > reverse of deconstruction. So where we might begin by breaking down data > into its component parts and examining them; we often end by recombining > those components in new ways. Note, however, that synthesis can also form > part of an exploration and is one of the fundamental tools of the trade for > UX strategy work. > > If deconstruction allows us to critically examine assumptions by isolating > individual components, synthesis allows us to explore new configurations for > the whole. > In the feedback received on the article one of the main points touched on
was the belief that synthesis actually represents a distinct and separate
activity *outside* of analysis.
In my own analysis work I struggle to separate synthesis into a completely
distinct activity. As I work with the data I actively bring together ideas
and concepts identified in user research, business research, competitive
analysis, industry trends, technology trends (and current states), and an
understanding of the current basis for competition. As these concepts come
together they form complex ideas which then are used to explore design ideas
- aimed at a solution to the problem at hand.
However, that's me. I'm curious of what other people think about this
distinction: is it meaningful in your own work? Is the characterisation of
synthesis provided above (in the quoted section) one that resonates for you?