Structured Iteration:

A Process to Discover Good-Enough Solutions to Complex Design Problems

Guide + Software Tool

$120 USD

Some problems can’t be solved with a few Google searches. Some problems require you to sit down, research, formulate a plan, try a solution, and then go back and do it all over again. These are the problems where you go back and forth between thinking and doing. Problems that have to be iterated on. Complex design problems.

Iteration in design means tackling a problem in stages. But I’d only ever seen it done well implicitly (or not at all). After a series of unfinished projects, I needed to see for sure that I was iterating—not just tracking work or managing a project, but tracking my progress in solving a problem.

So, I took notes. I used timers. I organized them. And… I started finishing things I wanted to finish.

I found myself doing something I struggled to do before: changing plans on the fly. I’d bend problems if they didn’t fit my time limits and I’d do it with a stroke of a pen and then walk away. I was iterating on a problem with many small micro-adjustments instead of waiting to make big changes. And I could see it happening on paper.

This was a note-taking process to explicitly track and perform iterations on a complex design problem without getting overwhelmed by the complexity.

I use it to hone in on the best solution I can manage in a given amount of time. I use it for problems like building software or writing a blog post on an unfamiliar topic.

I wrote a guide that explains the process and made a web app for you to experiment with it. When you buy this product, you get both.

It can be hard to do good work while managing being a human being. I hope this helps.

The Guide

  1. Why complex design needs explicit tracking
  2. How to track a problem changing over time
  3. How to refresh a plan systematically
  4. How to structure work for speed
  5. How to avoid the endless design project

The Tool

A conceptual sketch of the Structured Recrusive Work Log

The Structured Recursive Work Log is a graphical organizer for attacking a complex design problem with limited time. It's a web app you can access from your browser.


$120 $60USD

You can access the guide in August when Early-Access begins (price goes up to $90USD). Full release in September.