Analysis of interconnected decision areas (AIDA) / by Conánn FitzPatrick

When analysing a problem a number of different decisions may have to be taken. These decisions are interconnected to each other and will have influence over their feasibility. This method, which is similar to Morphology, can be used at any stage of the design process. Its aim is to quickly eliminate unlikely solutions and propose combinations of interconnected ideas to create feasible solutions. Three steps are required:

  1. Establish Decision areas
  2. Chart options
  3. Represent the decision areas and options : Option Graph

This method can be repeated with new decision areas to create a more focused idea. However this is a good stage to create the appropriate visuals to clearly illustrate the options.

Options for the design of an all weather child's push chair

A. Type of cover
  • A1. Permanent (ridged)
  • A2. Removable
B. The position of the access area
  • B1. Between both axles
  • B2. At front
  • B3. At back
C. Arrangement of handles
  • C1. Straight across bar
  • C2. Parallel bars
  • C3. Adjustable
D. Storage of unit
  • D1. Minimal flat pack
  • D2. Folding
  • D3. Ridged frame
E. Seat arrangement
  • E1. Facing Backwards
  • E2. Facing forwards

A1:D1. If the cover is permanent it is unlikely that the unit can become minimal

A1:D2. If the cover is permanent it is unlikely that the unit can be effectively folded

B2:E1. If the access is from the front it would be impractical for the seat to face backwards

B3:E2. If the access is from the back it would be impractical for the seat to face forwards

C1:B1. If a straight across bar is used it would be difficult to gain access from the back

C1:E1. Using the straight handle would imply that a backwards facing seat would be impractical

The following diagram can then be generated. It outlines the no go areas by connecting the sub factors by a line.